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Artists David Smith

David Smith

American Sculptor

David Smith Photo

Born: March 9, 1906 - Decatur, Indiana

Died: May 23, 1965 - Bennington, Vermont

"Art is the raw stuff which comes from aggressiveness by men who got that way fighting for survival."

David Smith Signature


Among the greatest American sculptors of the 20th century, David Smith was the first to work with welded metal. He wove a rich mythology around this rugged work, often talking of the formative experiences he had in his youth while working in a car body workshop. Yet this only disguised a brilliant mind that fruitfully combined a range of influences from European modernism including Cubism, Surrealism, and Constructivism. It also concealed the motivations of a somewhat private man whose art was marked by expressions of trauma. Smith was close to painters such as Robert Motherwell, and in many respects he translated the painterly concerns of the Abstract Expressionists into sculpture. But far from being a follower, his achievement in sculpture was distinctive and influential. He brought qualities of industrial manufacturing into the language of art and proved to be an important influence on Minimalism.

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