The Y–shaped pieces of metal Smith incorporated into this work are found objects. “These Y’s were in a box unknown to me at the time of the purchase,” Smith said. “… I cannot locate their original function.” Smith found that the iron was soft and tactile—deal properties for his work—and he made several welded constructions in 1950 that incorporated these and other forged letters. He covered this metal sculpture with fifteen to twenty coats of paint mixed with aluminum powder and varnish. For Smith the letters represented “the return to origins—before purities were befouled by words. Before the ingrate word makers turned the artists own symbols against him with a what does it mean.”
Gallery label from 2007.