DIE, 1962

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Steel, oiled finish
6' x 6' x 6'
Edition 1/3

Whitney Museum of American Art

"This is a complicated piece. It has too many references to be coped with coherently.  I undoubtedly decided to do it after having looked at Free Ride for a while. That was its real inception. Herodotus says, ‘The most wonderful thing that was actually to be seen about this temple was a chapel in the enclosure made of a single stone, the length and height of which were the same, each wall being forty cubits square, and the whole a single block!’ Recalling this several years ago, I designed a studio for myself in the form of a forty foot cube- eight feet to have been below grade. The interior of the studio I designed for Betty Parsons is a half cube. These are just specific references. The actual size of this steel box was determined by Leonardo’s drawing. It is reproduced on the cover of a paperback, and it always seems to be in sight. Auden had written, ‘Let us honor if we can the vertical man, though we value none but the horizontal one.’ Six foot under. I didn’t make a drawing; I just picked up the phone and ordered it.”

-Tony Smith on Die

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All artworks © Tony Smith Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS, New York)