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Photo: Paul Macapia


1967-68 / 1999

Tony Smith

American, 1912-1980

Initially trained as an architect, Tony Smith first experimented with sculpture when he was nearly fifty. Stinger, one of his most monumental works, recalls an ancient structure such as a fortress, with three closed sides and one open side inviting the viewer to cross a threshold to its interior. Composed of cross-sections of tetrahedral and octahedral shapes, the sculpture combines a simple plan and complex elevation; resting on a single point it appears to hover above the ground. Originally called One Gate, Smith titled Stinger after the popular cocktail that is deceptively sweet but slyly intoxicating.

Steel, painted black, 6 ft. 6 in. x 33 ft. 4 1/4 in. x 33 ft. 4 1/4 in., Gift of Jane Smith, 2004.117, © 2006 Estate of Tony Smith

Now on view at Olympic Sculpture Park


Tony Smith

American, 1912-1980

American architect, sculptor, and painter Tony Smith was born in South Orange, New Jersey, and graduated from a Jesuit high school in New York. He dropped out of college to enter his father's manufacturing business, working as a toolmaker, draftsman and purchasing agent, while studying art part-time. At the New Bauhaus in Chicago, Smith studied architecture in 1937, then landed an apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright; he opened his own architectural firm in 1940. In 1955 he returned to the East Coast to teach at Hunter College, Bennington College and later Princeton University. Increasingly he turned his attention to sculpture. In 1966 he exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and since then his work has been presented and collected internationally.