This landmark exhibition charts the development of Smith’s unique visual language over four decades, bringing together a number of sculptures that are rarely seen in the open-air outside the USA.
Within the Underground Gallery over 30 sculptures trace an unfolding narrative of material, technique and form. Beginning with Smith’s earliest constructions from the 1930s that combine wood with elements including mussel and clam shells, wire and nails, the exhibition spans work through to the artist’s mature, bold, large-scale painted and stainless steel sculptures of the 1960s.
Smith challenged sculptural conventions and was the first artist in the USA to work with welded metal, becoming known for his mastery of steel. Although hugely influential to the development of abstract sculpture internationally, few of his works are held in non-US public collections, so he is rarely shown in Europe. Displayed at YSP, an incisive selection of sculptures includes major loans from museums and private collections, together with works from the artist’s estate, including objects from his home that have not previously been exhibited.