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BOOK

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REVIEW

Robert Smithson: Spiral Jetty Edited by Lynne Cooke et al. University of California Press, 2005.208pp. £25

Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty must be the most famous single example of Land Art, but for many years after its completion in 1970 it lay submerged beneath the waters of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, known only through the earliest photographs and Smithson's typically offbeat film. Its invisibility even became the subject of other artists' art (Tacita Dean's piece on failing to find it). Then, early in 2002, it reappeared, to spark another generation of commentaries and images. This book is a splendidly thorough account of a work that people clearly still find resonant. It mixes the archival and the new in an illuminating way and the recent photos - salt-crusted rocks in a rose-coloured lake - are stunning. Pictured is the jetty in December 2003.

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