Albany I, 1959
25 x 25 3/4 x 7 1/4 in. (63.5 x 65.4 x 18.4 cm)
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
© 2021 The Estate of David Smith / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
In 1964, when asked about Albany I as well as the series to which this piece belongs, Smith said, “Years ago I made some work that were called ‘Albany 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,’ and so forth. It was just because the steel came from Albany. There was no tangible, visual relationship to the concept of that work. It was abstract. But the only tangible was the fact that I bought the steel in Albany.” Albany was the largest city near Bolton Landing, and Smith would often journey there for more urbane cultural experiences. The eleven small sculptures of this series were produced between 1959 and 1962. The intimate scale of these works enabled Smith to explore ideas that he would later develop in a larger scale, such as the balancing of weighted volumes and the prominence of the circular form.