Tony Smith: A Drawing Retrospective

Matthew Marks Gallery

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Klaus Kertess and Joan Pachner

Softcover | 16.51 x 0.64 x 20.32 cm | 128 pp

Matthew Marks Gallery | 1996 | 9781880146132

Tony Smith (1912-1980) considered his process to be intuitive, his work resting close to the unconscious and exploring themes of spirituality and presence in a synthesis of geometric abstraction and expressionism.

Published to accompany an exhibition at the Matthew Marks Gallery, New York in 1995, this is the first publication devoted to this aspect of the artist’s oeuvre. The book contains a comprehensive chronology of Smith’s works on paper, from his earliest architectural renderings and sculptural plans to his abstract drawings from the 1970s.

Tony Smith studied painting at the Art Students League, New York (1934–36) and attended the New Bauhaus, Chicago (1937–38), before apprenticing with Frank Lloyd Wright (1938–39). For the following two decades, he worked professionally as an architect and held teaching positions at numerous institutions in New York and Vermont. In the early 1960s, Smith turned his focus to sculpture, with his architectural background informing one of his most radical innovations—having his work industrially fabricated. Widely recognised for his large-scale, modular works produced throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Smith was included in the seminal group exhibition Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum, New York, in 1966. His profound achievements in American sculpture have been honoured with retrospectives of his work at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1998); Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (2002); Menil Collection, Houston (2010); and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017).

Essays by Klaus Kertess and Joan Pachner

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