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Pillar of Sunday

David Smith began making welded steel sculptures in the 1930s, using skills he obtained while working as a welder at the Studebaker plant in South Bend, Indiana. In Pillar of Sunday, he attempted to reconcile the two-dimensionality of painting with the three-dimensionality of sculpture. Smith’s sculptures of the immediate postwar period are heavily influenced by Surrealism and imbued with autobiographical references. The totemic shape of Pillar of Sunday reflects Smith’s interests in myth and nature, while the images attached to the sculpture’s vertical trunk depict the artist’s recollections of the Sunday rituals of his youth.

David Smith
American, 1906–1965
Pillar of Sunday
1945
Painted steel
31 x 16 5/8 x 8 1/2 in. (78.7 x 42.2 x 21.6 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 69.151

Large image not available.