Raw Color addresses the relationships between landscape, industry, and the works David Smith (1906-1965) realized between 1961 and 1963. The Circle series was his most ambitious attempt to pair painting and sculpture. Painted in raw, inorganic colors but constructed to stand in concert with the dramatic Adirondack landscape in which he lived, Smith's sculptures confront viewers with a conflict. How are we to be modern, responsive to the materials and the technologies of our time, and yet also remain conscious of our respective locales and nature? To demonstrate the importance of place in Smith's practice, historical photographs of Smith's Circle series at his Bolton Landing, New York, home and studio are complemented by new photographs of the sculptures installed at the Clark's Lunder Center at Stone Hill. Noted artist Charles Ray contributes an essay that explores how time, memory, and landscape are embedded in Smith's sculpture.
Michael Brenson is an art critic, art historian, and teacher. Charles Ray is an artist based in Los Angeles. David Breslin is the associate director of the Research and Academic Program and associate curator of contemporary projects at the Clark Art Institute.