Reclining Figure

Copied David Smith, Reclining Figure, 1935, iron, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Promised gift of Samuel G. Rose and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2013.6

Artwork Details

Title
Reclining Figure
Artist
Date
1935
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
10 3432 147 34 in. (27.381.919.7 cm)
Credit Line
Promised gift of Samuel G. Rose and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
Mediums
Mediums Description
iron
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure
Object Number
2013.6

Artwork Description

In 1934, David Smith set up a studio in an industrial workshop and used skills he learned as a welder in an automobile factory to join found objects into assemblages. He was the first American to use the technique, which had been pioneered by Picasso and Julio González the previous decade. Reclining Figure is made of cast-off tools and metal sheet. Smith used piston shafts for arms and forceps for feet. A toothed bar became a spine. Although the metallic body contradicts the idea of soft feminine flesh, Smith applied a rust-colored coating to give the surface an unexpected warmth. Reclining Figure exploits the play of the unexpected that characterized surrealist works by Smith's contemporaries.