Friday, June 06, 2008

Sculpture For The Whitney Museum

In the early 1970's I became pretty close friends with the artist Robert Smithson. He loved movies as much as I did and we would have many conversations and sometimes arguments on the subject. We had been talking about the movie Duel In The Sun and he said that it was directed by Henry King and I said no it was King Vidor,no it was Henry King Bob said. This went back and forth until finally I said I bet you a piece of art. He agreed and he lost the bet and gave me one of his drawings of a shed being covered by tar or something like it if I recall correctly. The reason that I am recalling is that I sold the drawing some years ago, of course I regret it just like I regret selling my Bill Jensen painting, my H.C. Westermann's and my Joseph Cornell collage that he gave me. But getting back to Smithson, I told him that I would gift him with one of my pieces which pleased him, and one night I brought over one of my burnt floor pieces, a gas station. Both him and Nancy Holt his wife were delighted to have it and it sat on the floor of their dining room in their loft on Greenwich st. for many years. This is the piece that the Whitney has acquired as a promised gift from his estate. The other picture is a grouping of the burnt floor pieces that I did in 1969-1970 of which the gas station was originally part of. I haven't seen these pieces in years as they are packed and stored away in a crate that is being stored in my friend Lee's basement or garage because I don't have the room for them in my small apartment.
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