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Paula Cooper Gallery’s current exhibition of the monumental Stinger (1968) has been extended until August 9, 1999. The large-scale sculpture, along with the smaller Trap (1968) and related drawings, will be on view at the gallery through this date.
Last exhibited outdoors as a plywood mock-up in 1968-69, Stinger, now fabricated in steel, measures 32’ by 32’ and weighs approximately 36,000 pounds. Unlike Smith’s other monumental sculptures, the unique horizontal orientation of Stinger enables the spectator to walk in and around the work, affording an unusual phenomenological experience.
The sculpture is conceived as a square with part of one side removed. Composed of cross-sections of octahedra and tetrahedron, the entire work rests on the single point of a diamond. Writing in 1969, E.C. Goossen noted,
“…Smith’s attack allows for the broadest range, from pieces that stand aloof and alone to those that can, like Stinger, envelop the viewer and force him to experience them. Perhaps more than any other sculptor at this time, Smith has found the precise amount of the ‘real’ we can bear in art, for his work has a monumental power rarely available to other approaches.”1
A gallery publication documenting the installation, with an essay by Joan Pachner, is available.
E.C. Goossen, catalogue essay, The Art of the Real, An Aspect of American Painting and Sculpture 1948-1968, The Tate Gallery, London, 1969, pp. 9-10. ↩