David Smith at the Guggenheim
I wasn’t familiar with David Smith’s work. But his daughter, Becca happens to be a parent at our kids school. She’s lovely and an artist herself. She told me about her father’s exhibit at the Guggenheim. That was the aha moment. Her father was obviously a big deal. What did I know. Supposedly David Smith is widely considered to be one of the greatest sculptors of his generation. Then the reviews came out in the NY Times and New York Magazine. Wow. OK, I have to get up to the Guggenheim.
First of all, I have always liked the Guggenheim. The flow is cool. You walk up to the circular interior. Most exhibits start at the bottom, the early years, to the top, the late years. It is great to see the change as you walk up. When you stand in the middle of the structure you get a glimpse of all the work. It is pretty cool.
Smiths work is incredibly modern from as early as 1934. It could easily be 2005. Each piece is really intense. Layers of metal. Different structures. Comparable to abstract paintings. I’m sorry that I didn’t take out the time to listen to the exhibit with the tape that is made available. I think I would have gotten a lot more out of understanding his work.
Unfortunately Smith died in a tragic car accident in 1965. The breadth of his work is pretty impressive. So sad for us and his family that he wasn’t able to continue his pursuit of sculpture. Sculpture was obviously David Smith’s passion.