PETERSTEVENS: This work is a study for sculpture. It clearly could be translated into a sculpture similar to several of the sculptures in this exhibition.
NARRATOR: To make this work, Smith laid objects on a piece of paper and sprayed enamel over it. Peter Stevens.
PETERSTEVENS: When he removed the objects, the original objects, a kind of ghost‑like image would remain. That image is really the absence of all the objects that he had removed. So the drawings become a kind of poetic reference to sculpture, but really what you’re seeing is the space around what would be a sculpture if you were seeing it as a kind of pictorial image. Seeing his sculpture as a pictorial image was very important to him because he felt that an image was how you would be open to a work of art. It’s through an image that you interpret and through an image that you remember something.
So these sprays are like a memory of an object. I think that that poetry was very important to him.