Smith (1906 – 1965) is widely considered one of the foremost artists of the twentieth century. For the artist, there was no conceptual boundary between sculpture, painting, and drawing. The resulting works derive much of their power from this radically open-ended approach. Whereas the physical qualities of Smith’s welded-steel sculptures transmit a strong industrial presence, their surfaces carry gestural and tactile imprints, often of hand-applied paint. The impact of his work results from his insistence that sculpture have the same visual impact as painting and drawing, and that drawing and painting have the same spatial weight as sculpture.
Focusing on 20 works from the late 1950s until the artist’s untimely and sudden death in 1965, ‘David Smith. Form in Color’ charts the development of these stunning works with extensive illustrations and historic images culled from the archives of The Estate of David Smith. A newly commissioned essay by Michelle White, curator at The Menil Collection, Houston, examines Smith’s use of gesture and colour in his sculptures within the context of abstract expressionism and the discussions about medium specificity in art of the 1960s. The book is published on the occasion of the exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Zürich.