Lot 120
  • 120

David Smith

300,000 - 400,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • David Smith
  • Untitled
  • signed and dated Feb-7-1962 on the reverse
  • spray enamel on canvas
  • 95 by 48 in. 241.3 by 121.9 cm.
  • Executed in 1962, this work is stamped by the Estate of David Smith and numbered 75-62-1 on the reverse.


Makler Gallery, Philadelphia
Acquired by the present owner from the above in 1978

Catalogue Note

"I belong with painters in a sense; and all my early friends were painters because we all studied together... Painting and sculpture aren't very far apart," (Exh. Cat., London, Anthony d'Offay, David Smith: Sprays from Bolton Landing, 1985, p. 2). For David Smith, painting was a means to address the same formal and mythic concerns as his sculptures. Smith sought to reconcile the optical precepts of painted abstraction with volumetric forms. His spray paintings reverse the process of his sculpture, returning three dimensional objects to the flat plane of the canvas.

Smith began his spray series at his studio at Bolton Landing in 1957 and would continue the series through the early 1960s. The period would mark the beginning of major recognition for Smith, coinciding with his retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1957, and his selection as the American representative at the 29th Venice Bienniale in 1958. Working additively, Smith made stencils of found objects, layering sprays of enamel paint over a changing arrangement of objects from his studio; die-cut forms, tools in disuse, and natural elements. In the present work Untitled, 1962 the resulting form shaped by the negative space not only reads volumetric but bears striking resemblance to Untitled, 1964 in the collection of the Newark Museum, underscoring the entwined relationship of painting and sculpture for Smith.