In the last two years before his death in a plane crash at age thirty-five, Smithson proposed various land-reclamation projects that would transform devastated industrial sites into a new form of public art. Here he envisions an earthwork that would have dwarfed even his famous "Spiral Jetty": the oldest open-pit copper mine and the largest man-made excavation (more than two miles wide) in the world. The unexecuted project involved the construction of a massive revolving disk—reminiscent of the viewing platform of a nineteenth-century panorama—at the pit's base from which to survey nature's gradual and inevitable reclamation of man's invasive enterprise.
Inscription: Signed, titled, and dated in ink on plastic overlay, bottom left to bottom right: "BINGHAM COPPER MINING PIT--UTAH // RECLAMATION PROJECT"; bottom right center: "Robert Smithson 73"
Estate of the artist; [James Cohan Gallery, New York]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographs: A Decade of Collecting," June 5, 2001–September 4, 2001.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 32," May 14, 2002–September 8, 2003.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. "Robert Smithson," September 12, 2004–December 13, 2004.
Dallas Museum of Art. "Robert Smithson," January 13, 2005–April 3, 2005.
Whitney Museum of American Art. "Robert Smithson," June 25, 2005–October 23, 2005.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Land Marks," April 30, 2013–August 25, 2013.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetics of Place: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection," December 12, 2016–May 29, 2017.