(b Decatur, Indiana 1906; d Bennington, Vermont 1965) American sculptor. David Smith is known for his massive geometric sculptures made of steel. As a young man Smith worked in an automotive shop welding metal, which would later come to influence his work. After attending Ohio University in 1924, Smith studied painting at the Art Students League in New York City. In the 1930s, in New York, he made the acquaintance of many prolific artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. It was at this time, in 1933, that Smith began working exclusively in metal for his sculptures. Smith had his first solo exhibition in 1938. A major retrospective of his work was organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1957. He also exhibited at the Venice and Sao Paulo Biennales in 1958 and 1959. In 1965, the year of his death, President Johnson appointed Smith to the National Council on the Arts.
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