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Contribution to Book

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Artists of David Smith's generation often sought to produce artworks that challenged the conventions of artistic "expression" and the expectations—technical, formal, psychological, interpretative—that accompanied them. Smith (like his contemporaries Stuart Davis, Willem de Kooning, and Arshile Gorky) was one of a group of artists whose formal innovations were guided both by a desire to align themselves with avant-garde art and by a pressing need to distance themselves from European affiliation. In Barnett Newman's words, these artists wanted to liberate themselves from "the impediments . . . of Western European painting" in order to "create images whose reality is self-evident and which are devoid of the props and crutches" of European culture. A technical innovator, among other things, Smith would eventually become one of the first American artists to use welding as an art form in the 1930s.


Frederick R. Weisman Philanthropic Foundation


Los Angeles



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The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation Collection