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Fred McDarrah
Vintage Print Silver Gelatin Signed Photograph Robert Smithson Land Art Artist

1966

$1,200

About

Robert Smithson (January 2, 1938 – July 20, 1973) was an American artist who used photography in relation to sculpture and land art. signed in ink and with photographer stamp verso and hand written title. Over a 50-year span, McDarrah documented the rise of the Beat Generation, the city’s postmodern art movement, its off-off-Broadway actors, troubadours, politicians, agitators and social protests. Fred captured Jack Kerouac frolicking with women at a New Year’s bash in 1958, Andy Warhol adjusting a movie-camera lens in his silver-covered factory, and Bob Dylan offering a salute of recognition outside Sheridan Square near the Village Voice Greenwich Village old office. Not just a social chronicler, McDarrah was a great photo-journalist. For years, McDarrah was the Voice's only photographer and, for decades, he ran the Voice’s photo department, where he helped train dozens of young photographers, including James Hamilton, Sylvia Plachy, Robin Holland and Marc Asnin. His mailbox was simply marked "McPhoto." An exhibit of McDarrah’s photos of artists presented by the Steven Kasher Gallery in Chelsea was hailed by The New York Times as “a visual encyclopedia of the era’s cultural scene.” artists in their studios, (Alice Neel, Philip Guston, Stuart Davis, Robert Smithson, Jasper Johns, Franz Kline), actors (Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro on the set of “Taxi Driver”), musicians (Janis Joplin, Alice Cooper, Bob Dylan) and documentary images of early happenings and performances (Yayoi Kusama, Charlotte Moorman, Al Hansen, Jim Dine, Nam June Paik). The many images of Andy Warhol include the well-known one with his Brillo boxes at the Stable Gallery in 1964. Woody Allen, Diane Arbus, W. H. Auden, Francis Bacon, Joan Baez, Louise Bourgeois, David Bowie, Jimmy Breslin, William Burroughs, John Cage, Leo Castelli, Christo, Leonard Cohen, Merce Cunningham, William de Kooning, Jim Dine, Mark di Suvero, Marcel Duchamp, Bob Dylan, Federico Fellini, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Indiana, Mick Jagger, Jasper Johns, Kusama, John Lennon, Sol Lewitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Nam June Paik, Elvis Presley, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, Robert Rauschenberg, Lou Reed, James Rosenquist, Mark Rothko, Ed Ruscha, Robert Smithson, Susan Sontag, Andy Warhol, and others have all been shot by him. McDarrah’s prints have been collected in depth by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington. His work is in numerous public and private collections. Smithson was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He studied painting and drawing in New York City at the Art Students League of New York from 1955 to 1956 and then briefly at the Brooklyn Museum School. His early exhibited artworks were collage works influenced by "homoerotic drawings and clippings from beefcake magazines", science fiction, and early Pop Art. He primarily identified himself as a painter during this time, but after a three-year rest from the art world, Smithson emerged in 1964 as a proponent of the emerging minimalist movement. His new work abandoned the preoccupation with the body that had been common in his earlier work. Instead he began to use glass sheet and neon lighting tubes to explore visual refraction and mirroring, Smithson became affiliated with artists who were identified with the minimalist or Primary Structures movement, such as Nancy Holt (whom he married), Robert Morris and Sol LeWitt. He eventually joined the Dwan Gallery, whose owner Virginia Dwan was an enthusiastic supporter of his work. In September 1968, Smithson published the essay "A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects" in Artforum that promoted the work of the first wave of land art artists, and in 1969 he began producing land art pieces to further explore concepts gained from his readings of William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, and George Kubler. Spiral Jetty is an example of a sited work. Smithson has a following amongst many contemporary artists. In recent years, Tacita Dean, Sam Durant, Renée Green, Lee Ranaldo, Vik Muniz, Mike Nelson, and the Bruce High Quality Foundation have all made homages to Smithson's works. The Estate of Robert Smithson is represented by James Cohan Gallery.

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