Lot 111
  • 111

David Smith

250,000 - 350,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • David Smith
  • Vertical Figure (Construction, Perpendicular)
  • incised with the artist's name and date 37 on the base
  • welded steel

  • 24 1/4 by 7 1/4 by 6 in. 61.6 by 18.4 by 15.2 cm.


Clement Greenberg, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
Acquired by the present owner from the above


Minnesota, St. Paul Gallery and School of Art, David Smith, March 1940


Hilton Kramer, Arts Magazine, Vol. XXXIV, February 1960, p. 27, illustrated
Rosalind E. Krauss, The Sculpture of David Smith: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1977, cat. no. 73, p. 11, fig. 73, illustrated

Catalogue Note

The following property from the Collection of the late Kenneth Noland hails from a collection curated by one the most esteemed Color Field painters and further influenced by the dialogue he maintained with his contemporaries. Noland espoused the notion of exciting creativity both for and from others, remarking in 1995 that, "[p]eople need to be inspired. It seems like it's almost a primeval urge. You can see it in babies...you can see it in children...you can see it in artists, looking for some feeling of hope about life and living."

Viewing the collection as a whole, which will be offered in both the November 3rd Impressionist and Modern Sale as well as the November 10th Contemporary Art sale (lots 111-119), the artistic discourse between Noland and the other artists represented is clear. One of the most impressive aspects of the collection is the large group of works by David Smith, many of the works personally inscribed to Noland. After meeting each other in 1950, the two artists became close friends, and Noland remained in admiration of Smith, influenced by his propensity for abstraction. "As time goes on, I realize more and more that, beginning in the early 30's, [he] began setting the precedent for what was to come later for many of us." Further, Noland's famous large scale canvases emblazoned with concentric circles of brightly colored pigment are orderly without being schematic or mathematical and take cues from the frenetic colors of Matisse, another master privileged in the collection. Sotheby's is privileged to offer this selection from the Collection of the late Kenneth Noland, a true compendium of contemporary masterpieces, intimately culled with personal history and thoughtful appreciation.


"When [the sculpture] is finished there is always that time when I am not sure - it is not that I am not sure of my work, but I have to keep it around for months to become acquainted with it and sometimes it is as if i've never seen it before and as I work on other pieces and look at it all the kinship returns, the battle of arriving, its relationship to the preceding work and its relationship to the new piece I am working on. Now comes the time when I feel very sure of it, that it is as it must be and I am ready to show it to others and be proud I made it." - David Smith (Cleve Gray, ed., David Smith by David Smith, New York, 1968, p. 57)