new-york

Tony Smith

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

Tony Smith has taken another step backward with his new piece 81 More at the Modern. This sculpture is somewhat similar to Robert Morris’ arrays of boxes of the mid-’60s, only Smith has made his array into a place, not just an ensemble. 81 More is an equilateral triangular platform made of 81 smaller similar triangles, 15 of which are the bases of triangular pyramids occurring regularly in the platform pattern. One immediate difference between Smith’s piece and, say, Morris’, is that Smith’s is decidedly abstract and one feels unmistakably that its geometricity is meant to guarantee its abstractness. I think that Smith’s piece is in fact resisting at least an aspect of representation and that this resistance is necessary, or is necessarily felt, because the sculpture has the character of a place.

To take a figurative sculpture as figurative is to look beyond or away from its literal object

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