New York

David Smith

Knoedler Contemporary Art

There are no masterpieces in this spring’s David Smith show, but there is such diversity in its 12 small sculptures as to extend a lesson in the repertoire of ideas and techniques that occupied Smith’s work. The exhibition divides almost evenly between pieces conjoined from found objects and sculptures cut fresh from blank steel and pulled direct from the imagination. It is a test of the viewer’s acuity and persistence to find the thread of sensibility that continues through all 12, and the 11 years they represent.

The found objects that compose some of the pieces are usually recognizable—though incongruous couplings can make these discrete parts elusive—and are fairly abstract in their significance, since they are divorced from their worldly contexts and erstwhile functions. They are welded together roughly, and usually presented without paint, so that they retain their discoloration and

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