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David Smith

Untitled
about 1951
ink and tempera
18 1/4 x 23 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase

With only the slightest suggestion of landscape, abstract lines suggest organic forms and lively motion, like birds in flight and trees swaying in the wind. Smith made drawings throughout his career, often as studies for sculpture, but occasionally intended as independent works of art. The touches of blue tempera enliven the lines at the same time they declare this drawing to be one of his intentionally finished pieces.