Tony Smith

1912-1980

Tony Smith

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Tony Smith was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. A sculptor, painter, and architect who apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright, he reached international fame in the 1960s and 1970s with his large-scale, geometric sculpture.

Tony Smith’s earliest sculptures date to his days spent quarantined from his family while he recovered from tuberculosis. The ample supply of medicine boxes used to treat his illness provided the medium for his small scale models and his imagination. Smith’s long career in architecture was also highly influential on his output as a sculptor, evidenced most directly in the large scale of his work and the building-like manner in which his shapes interact with their surrounding space.

Today, examples of Smith’s work can be found at MoMA in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, The National Gallery of Art, The Hirshhorn, the Walker Art Center, The New Jersey State Museum, the Newark Museum, the Montclair Art Museum, and the Nasher Sculpture Center. Cities where Smith’s work has been on public display include New York, Detroit, Princeton, Seattle, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Cambridge, Ottawa, Buffalo, Seoul, Dallas, Tokyo, Valencia, Boston, St. Louis, Louisville, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Toledo, Houston, Rochester, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Oslo, Honolulu, Albany, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Miami.

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation

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