Raw Color: The Circles of David Smith
Clark Art Institute
July 4 to October 19, 2014
David Smith (1906–1965) holds a singular place in the history of modern art. Known primarily as the sculptor most closely aligned with Abstract Expressionist painters like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Smith produced a diverse body of work in a broad range of media. He famously remarked: “I belong with the painters.” Much to the consternation of critic Clement Greenberg, a usually fervent admirer of Smith’s work who advocated that each medium be distinguishable, Smith frequently painted his sculptures. His stated goal was to combine painting and sculpture in order to create a new medium that “beats either one.” The Circle Series (1961–63) is Smith’s ambitious and monumental attempt to bring this unity into being.