Los Angeles

David Smith, Blue Construction, 1938, sheet steel with baked-enamel finish, 36 1/4 x 28 1/2 x 30". © Estate of David Smith

David Smith, Blue Construction, 1938, sheet steel with baked-enamel finish, 36 1/4 x 28 1/2 x 30". © Estate of David Smith

Los Angeles

David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Boulevard
April 3–July 24, 2011

Curated by Carol S. Eliel

The invitingly contradictory title “Cubes and Anarchy” captures a divergence not only in the work of David Smith but in Abstract Expressionism generally, with its range from the repetitive rigor of Ad Reinhardt to the improvisational drive of Jackson Pollock. Smith was particularly protean, making drawings, paintings, and photographs as well as the sculptures for which he is best known; having felt his way into sculpture as a student of painting, he aimed to outdo the two forms by fusing them together. Including 102 works in all of Smith’s various media and spanning his entire artistic career, this exhibition and its multiauthored catalogue promise to respect his catholic spirit. Ambitiously, curator Carol S. Eliel likewise promises that what may sound like a formal study of Smith’s use of geometry will also explore the role of his politics in his thinking.