Smithson, who made large-scale earthworks in the 1960s and 1970s, also engaged in an active drawing practice. A Heap of Language is both an artwork and a mission statement, marrying the artist's preoccupations with the physical presence of sculpture and the meaning behind language. Written in the artist's elegant cursive on graph paper, words about words "speech," "mother tongue," "Babel" accumulate into a hefty pile, so that thought becomes thing. This drawing attests to Smithson’'s belief that language is a concrete material.
Gallery label from From the Collection: 1960-69, March 26, 2016 - March 12, 2017.