Exhibited for the first time in over four decades, Tony Smith’s Bat Cave (1969-71) is produced in collaboration with Celulose Irani as part of the 9th Mercosul Biennial in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Fifteen feet high, twenty-eight feet wide, forty-two and a half feet long, and consisting of approximately 2,700 tetrahedral and 1,350 octahedral cardboard modules, this semi-architectural environmental sculpture intends, according to Smith, to emphasize its negative space rather then its positive form. To this end, the unpainted cardboard conveys a sense of lightness and suppleness that is distinct from many of the bronze and steel sculptures for which the artist is known.
Tony Smith conceived of Bat Cave in 1969, after visiting the Guardirikiri Cave in Aruba, and developed it over a two-year period.
Bat Cave was first exhibited at the 1970 Expo in Osaka, Japan, and again in 1971 as part of the exhibition Experiments in Art and Technology at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where it was created in collaboration with Container Corporation of America.
For more information, visit the 9th Mercosul Biennial website.