This photograph captures the American artist David Smith at work in a recently abandoned factory in Voltri, Italy. Renowned for his abstract welded-metal sculptures, Smith was there in May 1962 to complete a commission for the Festival of Two Worlds in neighboring Spoleto. Although organizers asked him to submit three works to this annual celebration of musical, dramatic, and visual arts, Smith was so energized by the work space that was provided for him and the team of assistants who were assigned to help him that he contributed twenty-six pieces to the festival. As ARTnews reported, he was "the proverbial cat let loose in a creamery." Ugo Mulas, an Italian photographer experienced in interpreting artists' lives, spent long hours documenting Smith's progress during his monthlong residence. In this photograph Smith stands before his layout table inspecting the various tools that he found on the site. Several of these wonderfully shaped instruments were ultimately incorporated into his sculptures.
Ugo Mulas (19281973)
Gelatin silver print, 1962 (printed 2002)
Published in ARTnews Annual, 1964
Archivio Ugo Mulas, Milan
©Ugo Mulas Estate
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