Spiral Jetty (1970) Robert Smithson

Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture constructed in April, 1970 that is considered to be the central work of American sculptor Robert Smithson. Smithson documented the construction of the sculpture in a 32-minute color film also titled Spiral Jetty.

Built on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point in Utah entirely of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks and water, Spiral Jetty forms a 1,500-foot-long (460 m), 15-foot-wide (4.6 m) counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore of the lake. The water level of the lake varies with precipitation in the mountains surrounding the area, revealing the jetty in times of drought and submerging it during times of normal precipitation.

Originally black basalt rock against ruddy water, Spiral Jetty is now largely white against pink due to salt encrustation.

Since the initial construction of Spiral Jetty, those interested in its fate have dealt with questions of proposed changes in land use in the area surrounding the sculpture and of the proper amount of preservation, if any.

Spiral Jetty, Box Elder, UT



Related Articles

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)