Off view

American, 1906–1965
The Iron Woman, 1954–58
Painted steel
7 ft. 4 1/4 in. x 14 1/2 in. x 16 in. (224.2 x 36.8 x 40.6 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
For The Iron Woman Smith employed welding skills he had learned while working in the Studebaker automobile factory in South Bend, Indiana, in 1925. By 1932 he was already a painter living in New York when he saw reproductions of welded iron constructions by Pablo Picasso and Julio González. Smith would later recall that seeing such works by these European artists “was liberating . . . permitted me to start with steel which before had been my trade, and had until [then] only meant labor and earning power.” In 1933 Smith began to make welded metal sculpture, a process he continued to employ throughout his career, and which he described as “an industrial concept, the basis of automobile and machine assembly.”


Other works by this artist
Albany I

Albany I, 1959


Becca, 1964

Cubi XXI, 1964

Raven V, 1959

Volton XX, 1963