new-york

Tony Smith

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

Tony Smith’s Moondog, 1964, consists of extended polyhedral columns (the “legs” are octahedral; the top, tetrahedral) assembled in a structure that, according to the artist, “relates to Japanese and Korean lanterns.” Though Smith envisioned it at its current size—approximately seventeen feet high—the piece was originally three feet tall and only realized in its full scale after Smith’s death. Moondog is an elaborate, almost labyrinthine combination of form and volume; internal and external elements are fused in complex geometric configurations. Unlike most of Smith’s earlier pieces, which tended to be rectangular, Moondog cannot be apprehended in its entirety from any single vantage point. It appears frontal, but multiply so; planar, but volumetrically changeable (the bevel edges emphasize volume over plane, and lead the eye easily around the corners of the polyhedrons). From one angle,

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