WILLY, 1962


Steel, painted black
7'7-1/4" x 18'8" x 11'3"
Edition 2/3
Dallas Museum of Art, TX

“The model for this piece was made from parts of other models (paper tetrahedra and octahedra). In this way one piece often evolves from another. I tried to put the components together as arbitrarily as possible. I decided to see what would happen by adding elements without a scheme, purposely allowing it to be as uncontrolled and underdesigned as I could so that composition couldn’t come into it. After a time, things like that become determined by structural necessity. In this case the assemblages of components were left just as they fit together & made a labyrinthine thing, extent by chance. The configuration often just appears as a totality when I’m lying between sleep and consciousness. Paul Feeley named the piece after a character in Beckett’s play Happy Days, somebody who couldn’t get off the ground and crawled on all fours.”
-Tony Smith on Willy

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