National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Untitled David Smith (artist)
American, 1906 - 1965
Untitled, c. 1932-1935
gelatin silver print
overall: 18.1 x 18.1 cm (7 1/8 x 7 1/8 in.)
Gift of the Collectors Committee
1998.138.1
Not on View
From the Tour: Selected Photographs from the Collection
Object 13 of 15

During the early 1930s, as the multi-talented Smith moved from cubist painting to collage and on to free-standing sculpture, he also made many photographs. Just as Smith would create a new kind of sculpture by welding, not carving or modeling form, he explored in his photographs a new vision by merging multiple negatives, multiple exposures, and masks. Composed of layer upon layer, sandwiched together so that they seem almost to have three-dimensional depth, Smith's photographs provided him with another arena in which to explore new ways of combining forms, defining space, and using light to reveal structure. Perhaps made in his studio at the Terminal Iron Works in Brooklyn, New York (a machine shop that produced fire escapes), this dense photograph with its pressed-tin ceiling, metal radiator, and other mechanical forms speaks of the urban industrial environment that nurtured Smith during the early years of his career.

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