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Robert Smithson key media image

21 July – 22 September 2018

Guest curators: Dr Amelia Barikin (The University of Queensland) and Professor Chris McAuliffe (Australian National University)

Robert Smithson: Time Crystals is the first exhibition in Australia dedicated to the work of American artist Robert Smithson (1938-73). Best known for his radical land art of the 1960s and early 1970s, Smithson is now widely recognised as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. Inspired by ideas of crystalline geometry and non-biological time, he redefined abstraction and challenged art history, declaring that ‘Nature gives way to the incalculable cycles of non duration.’

Featuring new research on the artist’s practice, Time Crystals presents sculpture, photography, film, drawings and texts borrowed from major Australian and international collections. It also includes the most extensive display of Smithson’s manuscript and archival material to date drawn from the Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt Papers at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art.

Exhibition Catalogue:

Robert Smithson: Time Crystals. Purchase via MUMA Shop

Education Kit:

Robert Smithson: Time Crystals Education Kit

Film Screenings:

Against Entropy: an evening of films in conjunction with Robert Smithson: Time Crystals, Wednesday 22 August
Crystal Constructs: an evening of films in conjunction with Robert Smithson: Time Crystals, Wednesday 5 September
Focus Points: an evening of films in conjunction with Robert Smithson: Time Crystals - Wednesday 19 September

Public Programs:

Symposium - Robert Smithson: A Crystalline World, Saturday 25 August
MADA Art Forum Lecture: Amelia Barikin and Chris McAuliffe - Robert Smithson: Time Crystals, Wednesday 29 August


Ep. 5: Astrophysics, leather pants, and moon smells
Join UQ astrophysicist Tamara Davis and arts journalist Bec Mac as they chat about infinity, the scent of the moon and rock star artists.


Robert Smithson: Time Crystals playlist, curated by Professor Chris McAuliffe from Robert Smithson's record collection


Media Kit:

Robert Smithson: Time Crystals Media Kit

Robert Smithson: Time Crystals is made possible through support from the Terra Foundation for American Art.
This exhibition has been developed in cooperation with the Holt/Smithson Foundation.
Robert Smithson: Time Crystals is a partnership between The University of Queensland Art Museum and Monash University Museum of Art.

Terra Foundation logo

Uni of Queensland logo

UQ Art Museum logo

Robert Smithson
Yucatan mirror displacements (1–9) 1969 (detail)
nine chromogenic prints from 35 mm slides
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Photo: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation / Art Resource, NY
© Holt-Smithson Foundation. VAGA/Copyright Agency, 2018

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