Middlebury

October 9, 2000

 


IMMEDIATE


Tony Smith's Sculpture Smog to Be

Dedicated at Middlebury College Oct. 21



Sculptor's Daughter, Artist Kiki Smith, to Lecture on Her Own Work Oct. 20

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. On Saturday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m., Middlebury College will dedicate Smog, the largest sculpture in permanent materials by American architect, painter, and sculptor Tony Smith (1912-1980). Measuring approximately 80 feet long, 60 feet wide, and 7 feet high, Smog was recently installed on the southeast lawn of Middlebury College's newly constructed Bicentennial Hall, located on Bicentennial Way off Route 125. Kiki Smith, the sculptor's daughter, will present a slide lecture about her own work the day prior to the dedication on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 216 of Bicentennial Hall. The dedication ceremony and the lecture are free and open to the public.

Tony Smith, who died before Smog was fabricated in permanent materials, was a highly respected minimalist sculptor in New York during the 1960s and 1970s. The artist designed the work in a full-scale plywood model in 1969. Only recently, however, did the College's Committee on Art in Public Places commission the Lippincott brothers of North Haven, Conn., to fabricate a full-scale version in painted aluminum. The artist's wife Jane and eldest daughter Kiki will attend the dedication.

According to John M. Hunisak, chair of the Committee on Art in Public Places, "Smith was an exact contemporary of Jackson Pollock, but his art was never based on controlled accidents like the work of the Abstract Expressionists. Well versed in mathematics and modular systems, his sculptures evolved over 15 years from simple to increasingly complex geometric forms. The cool metallic beauty and rhythm of Smog's complex form seem to have come into being by efflorescence, possessing both the logic of crystals and the passion of living form." Hunisak has also recently described Smog as, "without a doubt the most significant sculpture in Vermont."

The dedication will be accompanied by remarks by Middlebury College President John M. McCardell, Jr., and Chair of the History of Art and Architecture Department John Hunisak.

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Tony Smith's Sculpture Smog to Be Dedicated at Middlebury College Oct. 21/Page 2

Kiki Smith's slide lecture about her own work will take place the day prior to the dedication. Smith is, according to ARTnews, "one of today's most acclaimed and controversial young women artists." Her work, in contrast to the minimalist sculpture of her father, addresses issues of domestic violence, racism, environmental destruction, AIDS, and sexism through a direct focus on the human body. After having studied at the Hartford Art School and becoming enamored with puppetry inspired by Peter Schumann of Vermont's Bread and Puppet Theater, Smith began creating monoprints with fellow artist Jane Dickson. By the early 1980s, she was exploring the sculptural potential of the human form. Her first one-person show, held in New York at the Fawbush Gallery in 1988, led to an important exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1990 that established her reputation.

Today, Smith is widely celebrated for her poignant, often disturbing, but inevitably highly refined figurative work. Currently represented by PaceWildenstein in SoHo, New York, her art "transforms the old personal terrors into images of fierce delicacy," according to critic Kay Larson. In the same vein, New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelman has written recently that there is a "generosity to this work, which seems rigorous and free-rigorous in design but, in spirit, conveying a lightness and bouyancy."

For more information about the dedication of Smog or Kiki Smith's slide lecture, contact Tony Lewis, acting assistant director, Middlebury College Museum of Art, (802) 443-5252.

To follow is events calendar information:

Events Calendar Listings

Friday, Oct. 20

7:30 p.m.

Slide Lecture by Artist Kiki Smith: Smith will talk about her own work and career. She is the daughter of sculptor Tony Smith (1912-1980).

Middlebury College, Room 216, Bicentennial Hall, on Bicentennial Way off Route 125

Saturday, Oct. 21

2 p.m.

Dedication of Smog: the largest sculpture in permanent materials by American architect, painter, and sculptor Tony Smith (1912-1980).

Middlebury College, southeast lawn of Bicentennial Hall, on Bicentennial Way off Route 125

Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Tony Lewis, acting assistant director, Middlebury College Museum of Art, (802) 443-5252.

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