David Smith

(American, 1906–1965)

untitled by david smith

David Smith

Untitled, 1960

Price on Request



Born in Decatur, Indiana; father is telephone technician-executive and inventor; mother is school teacher
Smith family moves to Paulding, Ohio
1924 - 1925
Attends Ohio University in Athens for one year to study art; transfers to Notre Dame University, Southbend, Indiana; works summer of 1925 at Studebaker Company’s factory in South Bend
1926 - 1927
Assigned by Studebaker Company to New York City; meets Dorothy Dehner, an art student who lives in his apartment building; Marries Dehner in 1927; at the suggestion of Dehner, he attends the Art Students League and studies painting with John Sloan
1928 - 1929
Studies with Czech artist Jan Matulka; Matulka introduces Smith to works of Kandinsky, Mondrian, the Russian Constructivists, and the Cubists, especially Pablo Picasso
Smiths spend time at Lake George in Bolton Landing, New York, at the house of Thomas and Weber Furlong, friends from the Art Students League; Dorothy Dehner’s inheritance allows Smiths to purchase an eighty-six acre farm in Bolton Landing; Smiths meet artist John Graham via the Furlongs and Graham introduces Smith to sculptural works of Picasso and Julio Gonzalez, who were working in iron
1931 - 1932
Smiths visit the Virgin Islands and stay through June 1932; makes abstract drawings and paintings; produces first sculptures out of coral; Smiths return to New York and David begins to use steel for his sculptures
Welds sculpture in a foundry in Brooklyn, New York, called Terminal Iron Works, which becomes his adopted make-shift “studio” for several years
Through John Graham Smith meets Frank Crowninshield, the editor of Vanity Fair, and Smith is commissioned to make bases for Crowninshield’s African sculpture collection; with John Graham’s introduction, Smith now part of New York City circle of artists Milton Avery, Arshile Gorky, Stuart Davis, Adolph Gottlieb and Jean Xceron
Smiths travels to Europe for several months, visiting London, Paris, Greece, Soviet Union


Marble, Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA
Institut Valenciá d'Art Modern (IVAM), Valencia, Spain
The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1960-1989, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
Innovations in the Third Dimension: Sculpture of Our Time, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA
The Thaw Collection of Master Drawings: Acquisitions Since 2002, The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, USA
Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, USA
Russell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, USA
Washburn Gallery, New York, USA
Action/Abstraction: Pollock, De Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976, The Jewish Museum, New York, USA
The 1930s: The Making of 'The New Man',National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada