Despite their eminence within the Minimalist community, Tony Smith’s sculptures never seem quite at home in it. Always a bit quirky and sometimes too boldly grand in a brotherhood of no-nonsense, solid citizenry, Smith’s large sculptures are the big black sheep of Minimalism. Several of the 24 drawings that comprised this show (many of them never before exhibited) help clarify Smith’s iconoclasm.
In the drawings for such large-scale works as Hubris, 1970, Smith’s architectural training comes to the fore; these are plans, elevations, and isometric views as few sculptors care, or are able, to make for their work. Perhaps one reason Smith’s work survives when paired with Modern architecture as little else does is precisely because of his firsthand experience with the constraints of the practice. Certain of the earlier drawings—numerical schemes and formal permutations—underscore the more
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