PRINT December 1966

Talking with Tony Smith

The sculptor-painter-architect, Tony Smith, born in South Orange, New Jersey in 1912, is one of the best-known unknowns in American art. Most people involved in the art world around New York have met him or know of him. Of the generation of, and a friend of Pollock, Still, Rothko and Newman, he has “always” painted and “always” made sculpture, which he has thought of as a private and purely experimental pursuit. (“I didn’t think of them as sculptures but as presences of a sort.”) Therefore he has not exhibited either. But he has put much of his energy into teaching art and design at, among other places, NYU, where his students included Robert Goodnough, Larry Rivers, and Al Leslie, Cooper Union, Pratt, Bennington, and Hunter, where he is teaching now.

From 1940 to 1960, after working as clerk of the works on several Frank Lloyd Wright houses, and after having spent about five months with

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