Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

The MAN Podcast: Robert Smithson in TX, NJ

Pin It

This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast spotlights two exhibitions that address Robert Smithson’s interest in specific places: The Dallas Museum of Art is showing “Robert Smithson in Texas,” which explores work Smithson made and planned in Texas, including the 1966-67 Dallas-Fort Worth airport project and Amarillo Ramp. It’s on view through April 27. On February 23, the Montclair Art Museum will open “Robert Smithson’s New Jersey,” which will examine how Smithson’s experience of his home state informed his work.

My guests are Leigh Arnold, who organized Dallas’ exhibition, and Phyllis Tuchman, who co-curated the Montclair show with Gail Stavitsky. The program was taped in front of a live audience at the Dallas Museum of Art.

Arnold is a curatorial fellow at the Nasher Sculpture Center. She has previously held the position of research fellow at the DMA for the special project, DallasSITES: “Charting Contemporary Art, 1963 to Present.” Arnold is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas where she is writing on Robert Smithson’s relationship to Texas.

Tuchman is an art historian and critic. She has written for Artforum, Art in America, and for numerous other publications. She has taught at Williams College and Hunter College, and has written monographs on artists such as George Segal and Anthony Caro.

Among the topics Arnold and Tuchman discuss:

  • The relationship between Smithson’s DFW project and his concurrent interests in New Jersey;
  • How Smithson became interested in maps and how that interest manifested itself in his work;
  • Whether there is a connection between New Jersey and Texas projects that involved waterways and shipping/barges; and
  • Smithson’s use of color, not usually a primary focus of Smithson studies. [Image at right: From an unknown photographer, Smithson in a sulfur pit in Rosenberg, Texas in 1969.]

How to listen: Download the show directly to your PC/mobile device. Listen on SoundCloud. Subscribe to The MAN Podcast at iTunesSoundCloudStitcher or via RSS.Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. The program is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license.

For images of art discussed on this week’s show, click through to the jump.

Robert Smithson, A Quarry in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, 1960.

Robert Smithson, Earth Window, 1967.

Robert Smithson, Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport Layout Plan: Wandering Earth Mounds and Gravel Paths, 1966.

Robert Smithson, Airport Site Map, 1967.

Robert Smithson, Airport Idea [Tippets, Abbett, McCarthy, Stratton], 1966.

Robert Wade, Robert Smithson, Maquette for Texas Overflow, 1970.

Robert Wade, Robert Smithson drawing at Northwood Institute, 1970.

Unknown photographer, Robert Smithson in a Sulfur Pit, Rosenberg, Texas (near Houston), 1969.

Robert Smithson, Ring of Sulphur and Asphalt, 1972.

Robert Smithson, Untitled (Map on Mirror-Passaic, New Jersey), 1967.

Robert Smithson, A Nonsite, Pine Barrens, New Jersey, 1967 (map); 1968 (Nonsite).

Robert Smithson, Non-site: Line of Wreckage (Bayonne, New Jersey), 1968. Collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Robert Smithson, Non-site (Palisades-Edgewater, N.J.), 1968. Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Robert Smithson, #7 Red Sandstone Mirror, 1971.

Pin It


  1. […] to historian Phyllis Tuchman, who spoke with Arnold and interviewer Tyler Green for a recent Modern Art Notes podcast, Texas is where “Robert Smithson became Robert Smithson.” It is in Texas that the earliest […]

Add a Comment