The American artist David Smith was one of the 20th century’s most important sculptors and the first American artist to work with welded metal. Hugely influential to the development of international abstract sculpture, he is regarded as the principal sculptor of the American Abstract Expressionists but with few works in non-US public collections, he is rarely shown in Europe.
For Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019, Yorkshire Sculpture Park presented a major exhibition of his work. The exhibition features more than 40 sculptures drawn across a four-decade period, beginning with Smith’s earliest experimental works from the 1930s, through to large-scale statements of the 1960s and including works outdoors.
Smith aligned himself to an anthropological trajectory, embracing the creative continuity that connects humanity across millennia, connecting to an ancient tradition of making and fettling.
The exhibition brings together major loans from museums including Tate, the Whitney, and the Kröller-Müller and private collections in the US and UK, together with works from the artist’s estate, some of which have not previously been exhibited.
The exhibition illuminates Smith’s understanding of the social practice of art and of his prescient belief in an inclusive United States that valued its connectedness to the wider world.
Find out more about the exhibition by listening to our audio guide
1906 – 1965
Yorkshire Sculpture Park is the leading international centre for modern and contemporary sculpture, set within the 500-acre, 18th-century Bretton Hall estate in West Yorkshire.Find out more
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