Matthew Marks is pleased to announce an exhibition of three early large-scale outdoor sculptures by Tony Smith, the next exhibition on view in his gallery at 522 West 22nd Street.
The three sculptures in the exhibition are among Tony Smith's most important early large-scale sculptures. Conceived of connected rectangular and square modules that relate to the perimeter of a cube, these works are among the most streamlined, reduced sculptural forms the artist ever made.
After exploring painting in the 1930s, Tony Smith supported himself as an architect for over twenty years. He did not start making sculpture until the late 1950s, producing his first mature sculptures in the early 1960s. The artist's first one-person exhibition was held at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1966, in which the three present sculptures were first exhibited.
The process of arranging and combining classical geometric forms is at the core of the artist's sculptural work. Tony Smith often began working on a new sculpture by rearranging elements used in previous sculptures and incorporating new ones: both Marriage and Night were born out of the rearranged and augmented modules of a slightly earlier work, Free Ride. Inspiration for Free Ride came when the artist was placing a group of three Alka-Seltzer boxes on a table in different arrangements; struck by one particular arrangement, the artist decided to make a sculpture based on that design, and the present works followed shortly thereafter.
Tony Smith's work was the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1998. More recently, the IVAM in Valencia, Spain, organized an extensive exhibition of the artist's paintings, sculptures, and drawings in 2002.
Alongside this exhibition, we are publishing a new monograph, Not an Object, Not a Monument: The Complete Large-Scale Sculpture of Tony Smith. Between 1960 and 1980, the year of his death, Tony Smith produced 47 large-scale outdoor sculptures, and this publication is the first to bring together all these works in a single volume, chronologically exploring the developments in Smith's significant body of work. This volume also includes excerpts of interviews with Tony Smith, an essay by Robert Motherwell, and an introduction by Kiki and Seton Smith.
Tony Smith: Marriage, Night, We Lost will be on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery, 522 West 22nd Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues) through Saturday, June 17, 2006. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.