Three Mirror Vortex

Robert Smithson American

Not on view

Smithson’s Three Mirror Vortex, a triangular basin into which the artist placed a polyhedron made with panes of glass, indulges in optical ambiguity. The glass acts like a prism, simultaneously reflecting and refracting light: the result is visual cacophony. Here as elsewhere, Smithson sought to harness the irrationality that haunts the otherwise rational system of crystallography. It was in this spirit that Smithson characterized the study of the structure and properties of crystals as "solid-state hilarity" and compared it to the "topsy-turvy world" and "highly ordered nonsense" of the author Lewis Carroll, who famously penned Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865).

Three Mirror Vortex, Robert Smithson (American, Passaic, New Jersey 1938–1973 Amarillo, Texas), Stainless steel and 3 mirrors

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