Art Talk: Doorway on Wheels and David Smith’s Sculptural Practice

June 16, 2020

“Art is not divorced from life,” wrote sculptor David Smith in 1950. In this talk, curator Sarah Kianovsky takes a closer look at the sculpture Doorway on Wheels (1960), discussing how Smith harnessed modern materials and techniques to build an artistic practice that transformed what sculpture could be.

This video is part of our Art Talks series in which curators, conservators, fellows, and graduate students share short, informal videos that offer an up-close look at works from our collections.

Sarah Kianovsky, Curator of the Collection, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art

Work Explored:
David Smith, American, Doorway on Wheels, 1960. Steel with paint. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Lois Orswell, 1994.15. © 2020 The Estate of David Smith/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), N.Y.


All works by David Smith. © 2020 The Estate of David Smith. Archival images permission courtesy of the Estate of David Smith. Video excerpt comes from “David Smith: Sculpting Master of Bolton Landing,” the filmed interview of David Smith with Frank O’Hara from the series Art New York, produced by Colin Clark (associate producer William Berkson) and directed by Bruce Minnix, for Channel 13/WNDT-TV, c. 1964. First televised November 11, 1964 (16mm; 29 min.; color). Permission courtesy of the David Smith Estate and Maureen Granville-Smith, executor of the Estate of Frank O'Hara.