DAVID SMITH, Personage of August, 1956, painted steel, 74 7/8 × 15 7/8 × 16 3/8 inches (190.2 × 40.3 × 41.6 cm) © Estate of David Smith/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo by David Smith
Opening reception: Friday, March 10th, from 6–8pm
Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an important exhibition of sculptures, reliefs, paintings and drawings from the 1950s and '60s by the American master David Smith. This exhibition celebrates the David Smith centenary, and is made in cooperation with the Guggenheim Museum, whose concurrent retrospective surveys of the artist's sculpture and drawings.
This exhibition will concentrate on Smith's continued return to the motif of the human figure. Curated by Candida Smith and Peter Stevens of the David Smith Estate, the exhibition will include important loans from the Brooklyn Museum and Storm King Art Center, as well as from private collections and the estate of the artist. Many of the works are being exhibited for the first time.
When David Sylvester questioned Smith in his historic 1961 series of interviews, he asked whether it was correct to see personages in the seemingly abstract sculptures Smith was creating at the time. Smith replied: "They don't start that way…[I] can't get away from it. There is no such thing as truly abstract. Man always has to work from his life." It is, in essence, the human form that forms the basis of Smith's abstraction.
A fully illustrated catalogue, including many previously unpublished photographs taken by Smith, will accompany this exhibition. The photographs document Smith's sculptures and his placement of them in relationship to each other. The catalogue will also feature an essay by Alex Potts.
"David Smith: Personage" will travel to Gagosian Gallery, London in November 2006.