David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy
Audio Guide Playlist

Art historian and David Smith biographer Michael Brenson, art historian Sarah Hamill, sculptor Charles Ray, and Peter Stevens, director of the David Smith Estate discuss a selection of works from the exhibition David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy. The audio guide also includes commentary by sculptor David Smith.


SARAH HAMILL: This photograph is a photograph taken in Smith's fields, where he installed a lot of his sculptures in rows and grids outside of his sculpture studio and his house.

NARRATOR: Sarah Hamill.

SARAH HAMILL: Zig III is framing Two Circle Sentinel, and then off to the right is Zig II. What we're looking at, then, is a comment on photography as a framing device. The photograph is framing the sculpture, and the sculpture is then framing another.

NARRATOR: The traditional function of a frame is to set an object off from the surrounding space—to clarify it and to make it stable. We’ve seen that Smith played with the stabilizing conventions of sculpture. Here he does the same thing with the picture frame. Zig III may frame the works behind it—but it also merges with them.

SARAH HAMILL: In many of his photographs of his sculptures in groups, what he did was he created images of them joined together so that. . . the sculptural space and forms composed a cubic picture. And here what we see is Smith using photography as a way to think about pictorial space using his sculpture.


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