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David Smith and Alexander Calder

Large Scale Works

January 22–February 26, 2005
West 24th Street, New York

Alexander Calder, Mobile, 1963 Painted sheet metal and rod, 108 × 324 × 147 inches (274.3 × 823 × 373.4 cm)

Alexander Calder, Mobile, 1963

Painted sheet metal and rod, 108 × 324 × 147 inches (274.3 × 823 × 373.4 cm)

David Smith, Oval Node, 1963 Painted steel, 96 × 85 × 18 inches (243.8 × 215.9 × 45.7 cm)

David Smith, Oval Node, 1963

Painted steel, 96 × 85 × 18 inches (243.8 × 215.9 × 45.7 cm)

David Smith, Untitled, 1959 Spray paint and ink on canvas, 101 × 48 ½ inches (256.5 × 123.2 cm)

David Smith, Untitled, 1959

Spray paint and ink on canvas, 101 × 48 ½ inches (256.5 × 123.2 cm)

About

Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition featuring monumental works by David Smith and Alexander Calder. These masters of painted steel sculpture achieved international recognition in their lifetime for having created an idiomatic American vision to what had previously been thought of as the exclusive purview of European Modernism.

After pursuing abstraction and figuration throughout their careers, David Smith and Alexander Calder increased the scale of their works to a monumental level in the late 1950s. As they each explored this new scale, they continued to challenge the stress between positive and negative space. In "Mobile," 1963 Calder used heavy, industrial steel to create a delicate object that floats gracefully in space. In "Oval Node," 1963, and "Gondola II," 1964, Smith plays between the density of steel and the lyricism of abstraction. It is remarkable that two sculptors from the same generation, both working in painted steel, created such distinct works.

Although rarely exhibited together, it is noteworthy that in 1962, about the same time the works on view were created, Calder and Smith were included in the Spoleto Festival, The Festival of Two Worlds. In 1993, the Guggenheim Museum featured each artist, as well as Picasso, González and Giacometti in the landmark exhibition Picasso and the Age of Iron.

A major retrospective of David Smith's work, organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, will open in January of 2006. This exhibition will travel to the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Tate Modern, London.