Tony Smith

February 6 - April 18, 2015
522 W 22 Street
Opening Thursday, February 5, 6:00 to 8:00 PM

Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce an exhibition of three large-scale black-painted steel sculptures by Tony Smith, the next exhibition in his gallery at 522 West 22nd Street. The sculptures, Playground, Wall, and Maze, were made over a five-year period starting in 1962, and they provide an overview of Smith’s signature style during this formative decade.

Smith once said that Playground, made in 1962, the same year as his seminal work Die, recalled architectural plans of ancient mud-brick buildings.

Measuring eight feet high and eighteen feet long, Wall (1964) was made with two identical sections of an earlier sculpture combined end-to-end. The proportions of the resulting work relate to the golden ratio.

Maze (1967), which is ten feet wide, fifteen feet long, and nearly seven feet tall, is comprised of four individual parts creating a single unit. “In a certain sense it is a labyrinth of the mind,” Smith said. “You can see that it becomes quite complex, but at the same time everything falls in very, very simply.”

Tony Smith (1912–1980) came to sculpture late in life. After supporting himself and his family as an architect for twenty years, he began to focus on painting in the mid-1950s and turned to sculpture later in the decade. His first one-person exhibition was in 1966, the same year his work was included in the famous Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum in New York.

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, organized a retrospective of Smith's work in 1998. A European retrospective arranged by IVAM in Valencia, Spain, followed in 2002, and the Menil Collection, Houston, organized a retrospective of his works on paper in 2010. In 2012 Smith’s work was featured in a special outdoor installation at New York’s Bryant Park in honor of his 100th birthday.

Tony Smith will be on view at 522 West 22nd Street from February 6 to April 18, 2015, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

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

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