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Voltri XIII
David Smith--United States, 1906-1965
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive
Contributing Institution
UC Berkeley, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Art Collection Highlights - Images and Ideas: The Collection in Focus at the Berkeley Art Museum, University of California
Rights Information
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In the Italian town of Voltri, near Genoa, Smith made twenty-six large sculptures in thirty days with the help of a team of Italian workers. These sculptures, comprised of metal scraps and abandoned tools, were inspired by the vacant metal shop where they were fabricated. Voltri XIII is built from an ingot cart used by iron workers to carry hot oversized iron pieces from ovens to hammers. Welded to the weight-bearing bar (or "spoon," or "tongue") of the cart are playful forms selected by Smith from a scrap heap. In Smith's own words, "Voltri XIII is a circus wheel chariot with the spoon turned over, a solid guitar forging with a punched hole-with a cloud part [rolled iron sheet] below and above its tongue." This work brings together Smith's life-long experimentations with geometric composition, fanciful shapes, and an industrial aesthetic.

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