David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy

Oct 6, 2011–Jan 8, 2012

A fresh look at the work of the great American sculptor David Smith (1906–1965), Cubes and Anarchy offers new insights into the artist’s career-long involvement with geometric forms. Traditionally, the simplified geometry of Smith's monumental Cubi and Zig sculptures of the 1960s has been seen as a departure from the Surrealist and Expressionistic tendencies of his earlier work. Cubes and Anarchy reveals the artist’s iconic late masterpieces to be continuations of his long-standing explanation of geometric abstraction. The show includes over fifty sculptures, drawings, and paintings, as well as rarely-seen sketchbooks and photographs. Following its presentation at the Whitney, David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy will travel to the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio. 

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Major support for the Whitney’s presentation is provided by the National Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art.


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Audio guides

Art historian and David Smith biographer Michael Brenson, art historian Sarah Hamill, sculptor Charles Ray, and Peter Stevens, director of the David Smith Estate discuss a selection of works from the exhibition David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy. The audio guide also includes commentary by sculptor David Smith.

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Explore works from this exhibition
in the Whitney's collection

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In the News

"A delight...helps to flesh out our sense of his mastery and originality."
The Wall Street Journal 

"Smith kept evolving, and his work got better and better..."
Financial Times

Cubes and Anarchy is listed as one of the most anticipated exhibitions of the fall season.
New York