Lot 3411* - A191 PostWar & Contemporary - Saturday, 07. December 2019, 02.00 PM

DAVID SMITH

(Dectur 1906 - 1965 Bennington)
Untitled. 1959.
Indian ink on wove paper, double-sided.
Signed and dated lower right: David Smith 1-25-59. With the estate stamp on the reverse: ESTATE OF DAVID SMITH ACC. NO. 73-59.59.
44.5 x 66.5 cm.

The work is registered at the Estate of David Smith under the number: 73-59.59.

Provenance:
- Galerie Wenzel, Hamburg.
- Purchased from the above by the present owner, since then private collection Northern Germany.

David Smith was born in 1906 in Dectur, Indiana, the son of an engineer and a teacher. He worked occasionally as a welder in the automotive industry. He studied at Ohio University and the University of Notre Dame. On moving to New York, in the second half of the 1920s he joined the Students League of New York. There he got to know the works of Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky, but above all the sculptures of Pablo Picasso and Julio Gonzáles were to have a great influence on his work. In 1933/34 his first large steel sculptures were created, which then made him the leading sculptor within Abstract Expressionism. In 1954 and 1958 he took part in the Venice Biennale, and in 1959 and 1964 he took part in documenta II and III in Kassel. He was represented there posthumously also in 1968 and 1977. In 1957 the Museum of Modern Art mounted a major solo show of his work. In 1965 he was killed in a car accident.

David Smith belonged to the generation of American artists who had witnessed the First World War, the Great Depression, Fascism and the Second World War. At the same time, this generation emancipated itself completely from the European artistic tradition and enabled American art to elevate itself to full autonomy. He described and interpreted this development as follows: “The most important thing to know is who you are and what you stand for, and to acknowledge this identity in your time. You cannot go back. Art cannot go back. The concepts in art are your history, there you start. The projection beyond your filial heritage is as vast as the past. The field for ideas is open and great, your heritage is universal your position is equal to any in the world.” (quote. www.hauserwirth.com)

As an Abstract Expressionist sculptor, Smith was one of the most influential artists of his time. Alongside his imposing sculptural oeuvre, drawings also played an important role. Although he always used preparatory drawings for his sculptures, at the same time he also produced an independent body of drawings.
The double-sided drawing captures our attention with its highly reduced, gestural representation on one side of the page and a denser, almost figurative drawing on the other.

CHF 15 000 / 20 000

€ 13 160 / 17 540