David Smith Zig VII July 22, 1963

  • Not on view

In 1961 Smith began the Zig series. The name, he claimed, is "just an affectionate term for Ziggurat." Zig VII evokes the monumentality of the ancient stepped towers and their vertical thrust, while the playful bright colors undermine any sense of solemnity or ritual. The work is dominated by a tilted flat plane, which resembles an upturned canvas or palette. The attached curved and circular forms give the work a playful dimension, an impression reinforced by the dollylike base on which it rests. The circles imply a sense of continuity and cyclicality in addition to evoking the bull's-eye or target paintings made by Smith's friend, the color–field artist Kenneth Noland.

Gallery label from 2007.
Painted steel
8' 1/4" x 8' 3 1/2" x 7' 1 1/4" (244.5 x 252.7 x 216.5 cm)
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund (by exchange) and gift of Candida and Rebecca Smith
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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