© Estate of Robert Smithson/licensed by VAGA, New York 2013/Image courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York & Shanghai
1969
Map of Broken Clear Glass (Atlantis)
Robert Smithson, American, 1938–1973
Robert Smithson, American, 1938–1973

Map of Broken Clear Glass (Atlantis), 1969

Collage, Photostat, map, and graphite on paper
42.5 x 35.6 cm. (16 3/4 x 14 in.)
Dia Art Foundation, gift of Nancy Holt
New Jersey as Non-Site includes two "sketches" for outdoor installations or ephemeral "earth-maps" that Smithson created for a 1969 exhibition on Loveladies Island. The one seen here depicts the imaginary continent of Atlantis, a nonsite not unlike the others included in the exhibition. The sculpture was fabricated on a sandy shoreline using clear broken glass; when struck by the sun, the work dissolved into radiated shards of light, blinding the viewer in the process.

The Fertility of Desolation