Add Items to Cart


Tony Smith

Drawn from a critical period of Tony Smith's career, when the artist lived in Germany from 1953-55, the Louisenberg series is named after a German geological site. Containing paintings and drawings based on an abstract grid composed of circles--some self-contained, others fused into peanut-shaped groups of two or more--the work's modular approach reflects Smith's architectural ideas and prefigures his familiar sculptural methods.

 Matthew Marks is pleased to announce an exhibition of three large-scale black-painted steel sculptures by Tony Smith, the next exhibition in his gallery at 522 West 22nd Street. The sculptures, Playground, Wall, and Maze, were made over a five-year period starting in 1962, and they provide an overview of Smith’s signature style during this formative decade. 

Smith once said that Playground, made in 1962, the same year as his seminal work Die, recalled architectural plans of ancient mud-brick buildings. 
Measuring eight feet high and eighteen feet long, Wall (1964) was made with two identical sections of an earlier sculpture combined end-to-end. The proportions of the resulting work relate to the golden ratio. 
Maze (1967), which is ten feet wide, fifteen feet long, and nearly seven feet tall, is comprised of four individual parts creating a single unit. “In a certain sense it is a labyrinth of the mind,” Smith said. “You can see that it becomes quite complex, but at the same time everything falls in very, very simply.”
Tony Smith (1912–1980) came to sculpture late in life. After supporting himself and his family as an architect for twenty years, he began to focus on painting in the mid-1950s and turned to sculpture later in the decade. His first one-person exhibition was in 1966, the same year his work was included in the famous Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum in New York.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, organized a retrospective of Smith's work in 1998. A European retrospective arranged by IVAM in Valencia, Spain, followed in 2002, and the Menil Collection, Houston, organized a retrospective of his works on paper in 2010. In 2012 Smith’s work was featured in a special outdoor installation at New York’s Bryant Park in honor of his 100th birthday.
Sprache: Englisch