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David Smith: Billiard Players


David Smith: Billiard Players includes a selection of works executed from 1935 through 1945, a crucial period in the artist’s artistic evolution. Smith examined the figure of the billiard player in many variations as a way to advance open sculptural forms, synthesize sociopolitical subject matter into his own personal iconography, and explore the fluidity between representation and abstraction in depicting volume, motion and time.

Known for his groundbreaking innovations as one of the first Americans to produce welded metal sculpture, Smith embarked upon a lifelong dialogue among drawing, painting and sculpture, where ideations and observations were sketched on paper or arranged in metal on the floor of his studio. Paintings rendered volume. Sculpture outlined profile and motion. Smith chose each medium for its inherent qualities and potential to support the underlying ideas of a work.

The Neuberger Museum of Art is profoundly grateful to Rebecca Smith, Candida Smith, and the entire Estate of David Smith for supporting the restoration of The Billiard Player in the museum’s permanent collection and for lending work to this exhibition, and to Audrey and David Mirvish for the loan of the seminal Billiard Player Construction.

David Smith: Billiard Players is curated by Curator Jacqueline Shilkoff and organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art. Generous support for this exhibition is provided by the Roy R. Neuberger Legacy Program Endowment.