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).
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.