Wagon I, 1963-1964
steel with black paint
224.8 x 308.6 x 162.5 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 15703)
© Estate of David Smith / SODRAC, Montreal / VAGA, New York (2013)
David Smith believed it was the carved stone wheels depicted on Hindu temples that gave him the idea of placing his sculpture on wheels, and provided a solution for his concern about renewing the base of sculptures. While these wheels are factory produced and functional, the rest of the sculpture is pure invention. Smith learned to weld as a young man when working in the Studebaker factory in South Bend, Indiana. In fabricating works by welding - rather than casting or carving - Smith radically transformed sculpture in his time.