Conrad Bakker, Untitled Project: Robert Smithson Library and Book Club,2014. Oil on carved wood, dimensions variable.

Conrad Bakker

Salt Lake City

Utah Museum of Fine Art

Artists visiting the state of Utah typically make a pilgrimage to Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970), but they rarely meet the artist head-on, on his own terms. Such was the case, though, with Conrad Bakker’s Robert Smithson Library and Book Club, installed as part of the Utah Museum of Fine Art’s annual “Salt” series. Featuring hundreds of faux paperback books, rendered to scale in wood and paint and stacked upright along shelves lining the wall, Bakker’s work engaged with Smith­son on a multitude of levels. Inspired by Smithson’s own book collection, Bakker’s selections bring up a range of associations. With titles on everything from philosophy to physics, magic to mining, they suggest not only the more cryptic corners of Smithson’s mind, but also the intellectual foundations of his Utah masterpiece, the mother of all land works. …see the entire review in the print version of October’s Sculpture magazine.