• View of “David Smith,” 2016. From left: 7 Hours, 1963; Untitled (Chock Full O’Nuts), 1960.

    David Smith

    Hauser & Wirth | Zurich

    Many photographs of David Smith (1906–1965) show the artist next to his worktable or contemplating a piece in progress in his studio. Such images seem to present an ideal space for the creative process, revealing the formidable simplicity of Smith’s artistic practice. Intently observing the possible structural and semantic compositions of his tools and the shapes and colors of his pieces, Smith created his sculptures the way poets create their verses. His work, intrinsically lyrical, embodies concepts and moods within a totality of metric laws that the artist could choose to follow or not. This

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  • Vanessa Billy, Monument, 2016, car engine, food-grade silicone, 51 1/4 × 47 1/4 × 27 1/2".

    Vanessa Billy


    In this age of technology, materials have become a major concern in contemporary sculpture, with artists showing keen interest not so much in their intrinsic properties as in the meditative observation of their behavior. Rather than being manipulated and transformed according to someone’s aesthetic decision, materials perform; they take on a role that turns out to be just as active as that of the artist, or even more so. Formerly a maker, the artist is relegated to a more contemplative—and often perplexed—position. Sculpture is the vessel of a force, the container of a drive that

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