Best Quotes by Robert Smithson

The museum spreads its surfaces everywhere, and becomes an untitled collection of generalizations that mobilize the eye.

Robert Smithson

Visiting a museum is a matter of going from void to void.

Robert Smithson

Nature does not proceed in a straight line, it is rather a sprawling development.

Robert Smithson

The scenic ideals that surround even our national parks are carriers of a nostalgia for heavenly bliss and eternal calmness.

Robert Smithson

Nature is never finished.

Robert Smithson

Artists themselves are not confined, but their output is.

Robert Smithson

Abstraction is everybody’s zero but nobody’s nought.

Robert Smithson

From the top of the quarry cliffs, one could see the New Jersey suburbs bordered by the New York City skyline.

Robert Smithson

Instead of causing us to remember the past like the old monuments, the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future.

Robert Smithson

Art history is less explosive than the rest of history, so it sinks faster into the pulverized regions of time.

Robert Smithson

Cultural confinement takes place when a curator imposes his own limits on an art exhibition, rather than asking an artist to set his limits.

Robert Smithson

A work of art when placed in a gallery loses its charge, and becomes a portable object or surface disengaged from the outside world.

Robert Smithson

An emotion is suggested and demolished in one glance by certain words.

Robert Smithson

When a finished work of 20th century sculpture is placed in an 18th century garden, it is absorbed by the ideal representation of the past, thus reinforcing political and social values that are no longer with us.

Robert Smithson

Parks are idealizations of nature, but nature in fact is not a condition of the ideal.

Robert Smithson

I am for an art that takes into account the direct effect of the elements as they exist from day to day apart from representation.

Robert Smithson

The museums and parks are graveyards above the ground- congealed memories of the past that act as a pretext for reality.

Robert Smithson

Artists are expected to fit into fraudulent categories.

Robert Smithson

Some artists imagine they’ve got a hold on this apparatus, which in fact has got a hold of them. As a result, they end up supporting a cultural prison that is out of their control.

Robert Smithson

A vacant white room with lights is still a submission to the neutral. Works of art seen in such spaces seem to be going through a kind of esthetic convalescence.

Robert Smithson

Language should find itself in the physical world, and not end up locked in an idea in somebody’s head.

Robert Smithson

Language should be an ever developing procedure and not an isolated occurrence.

Robert Smithson

Art’s development should be dialectical and not metaphysical.

Robert Smithson

Objects in a park suggest static repose rather than any ongoing dialectic. Parks are finished landscapes for finished art .

Robert Smithson

History is a facsimile of events held together by finally biographical information.

Robert Smithson

History is representational, while time is abstract; both of these artifices may be found in museums, where they span everybody’s own vacancy.

Robert Smithson

Museums are tombs, and it looks like everything is turning into a museum.

Robert Smithson

Painting, sculpture and architecture are finished, but the art habit continues.

Robert Smithson

Language operates between literal and metaphorical signification.

Robert Smithson

Banal words function as a feeble phenomena that fall into their own mental bogs of meaning.

Robert Smithson

Words for mental processes are all derived from physical things.

Robert Smithson

Language thus becomes monumental because of the mutations of advertising.

Robert Smithson

Mistakes and dead-ends often mean more to these artists than any proven problem.

Robert Smithson

Questions about form seem as hopelessly inadequate as questions about content.

Robert Smithson