In a 1952 lecture at the Detroit Institute of Arts, David Smith (1906 – 1965) described the inspiration behind one of his recent sculptures, saying ‘My wish is that you travel by perception the path which I traveled in creating it. That same wish goes for the rest of my work.’ Taking its title from his remarks, ‘David Smith: Follow My Path’ will go on view at Hauser & Wirth New York beginning 27 April. The exhibition invites viewers to explore the daring artistic processes by which Smith revolutionized notions of sculpture’s form and function, embarking on new terrain in the field of abstraction. A member of the abstract expressionist generation, Smith eschewed the conventional sculptural methods of casting and carving in favor of modern industrial techniques and materials such as torch-cutting and welding iron and steel. Working first in Brooklyn and then largely in isolation in the remote hamlet of Bolton Landing in the Adirondack Mountains, he produced art inspired by transitory connections between human experience and nature, works that are at once self-contained yet expressively expansive.
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