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Tony Smith


September 7 - October 27, 2012
522 W 22 Street
Opening: Thursday, September 6, 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Tony Smith Source, the next exhibition in his gallery at 522 West 22nd Street.

Source, 1967, is a monumental sculpture, which Tony Smith first exhibited at Documenta IV in Kassel, Germany in the summer of 1968. Fabricated in steel and weighing over 12,000 pounds, this work is among Smith’s most dynamic large-scale sculptures. The title refers to Gustave Courbet’s 1864 painting The Source of the Loue. Speaking about Source in 1971, Smith said, “It would take many lines to explain why I consider Courbet's The Source of the Loue to be so uniquely related to Abstract Expressionist painting, but I do associate it with the work of my late friends. Anyhow, when I saw my sculpture, I thought of this great flood gushing from the rock face." A key example of the painted black outdoor sculptures for which Smith is best known, this exhibition is the first time that Source is being shown in New York.

Smith came to sculpture late in life. Born in 1912, he supported himself and his family as an architect for twenty years but began to focus on painting in the mid-1950s, turning to sculpture later in the decade. Smith considered the issues of architecture, sculpture, and painting identical, befriending many of the leading practitioners of Abstract Expressionism in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, organized a major retrospective of Tony Smith's work in 1998. A European retrospective followed in 2002, arranged by IVAM in Valencia, Spain and The Menil Collection, Houston organized a retrospective of Smith’s works on paper in 2010.

September 23, 2012, marks the one hundredth anniversary of Smith’s birth. Institutions around the world will celebrate his centennial with special events, including a daylong symposium at the National Gallery of Art, a panel discussion at the Seattle Museum of Art, and the exhibition Kiki Smith, Seton Smith, Tony Smith: A Family of Artists, which opens at the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany, on September 23.

Tony Smith Source will be on view from September 7 through October 27, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM at 522 West 22nd Street.

For additional information, please contact Jeffrey Peabody at
(212) 243-0200, or email

Installation Video