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.


PETER STEVENS: This work is a study for sculpture. It clearly could be translated into a sculpture similar to several of the sculptures in this exhibition.

NARRATOR: To make this work, Smith laid objects on a piece of paper and sprayed enamel over it. Peter Stevens.

PETER STEVENS: When he removed the objects, the original objects, a kind of ghost‑like image would remain. That image is really the absence of all the objects that he had removed. So the drawings become a kind of poetic reference to sculpture, but really what you're seeing is the space around what would be a sculpture if you were seeing it as a kind of pictorial image.
Seeing his sculpture as a pictorial image was very important to him because he felt that an image was how you would be open to a work of art. It's through an image that you interpret and through an image that you remember something.

So these sprays are like a memory of an object. I think that that poetry was very important to him.


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