‘Art has its tradition, but it is a visual heritage. The artist’s language is the memory from sight. Art is made from dreams, and visions, and things not known, and least of all from things that can be said. It comes from the inside of who you are when you face yourself. It is an inner declaration of purpose, it is a factor which determines artist identity.’
—David Smith, lecture, Ohio State University, 1959
Smith acknowledged the creative continuity that connects humanity across millennia. He embraced the entirety of his artistic lineage, from prehistoric cave painting, to art of tribal communities bound by myth, to that which is codified within the histories of Eastern and Western art-historical culture. An ardent autodidact, Smith consistently acted on the belief that unity and meaning are created only through an open and inclusive celebration of all that is human. By connecting with the world around him, he successfully synthesized a specific yet expansive visual language that pushed him, as well as those who encounter his work, to truly look afresh.
‘David Smith. Origins & Innovations’, a fresh, in-depth examination of David Smith’s visionary work and varied career, on view at Hauser & Wirth New York, 22nd Street through 23 December 2017.
#DavidSmith #OriginsInnovations #Tradition #VisualLanguage #Memory #Dreams #Vision #Sculpture #Drawing #Painting #Photography #Transformation #Artist #Innovation #Origins #ModernArt #ArtHistroy #HWNewYork #HauserWirth
Image: Smith with an unidentified sculpture, Bent Blade Construction (1936), Construction in Bent Planes (1936), and Sculptor and Model (1937; here unfinished) at Terminal Iron Works, Brooklyn, ca. 1937 © The Estate of David Smith
Courtesy The Estate of David Smith and Hauser & Wirth