Tony Smith, (1921-1980, American)
Black painted steel (23’ x 22’ x 46’), conceived between 1961 and 1972
Gift of The Humana Foundation in appreciation of Wendell Cherry’s leadership as first chairman of the board of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.
Tony Smith wanted his sculpture to serve as a springboard for the imagination. He believed his configurations of geometric shapes – rhomboids, tetrahedrons and octahedrons – could generate an infinity of associations which would vary with the experiences of the viewer. Smith believed his sculpture to be “speculations in pure form,” but of greater importance to him was an interest in myth and the creative powers of the subconscious mind.
Gracehoper’s black steel sheathing and triangular limbs suggest the greatest feats of contemporary engineering, but at the same time evoke a lumbering prehistoric being. Gracehoper changes dramatically from every angle of viewing: because of its great scale and complexity, it seems animated and static at the same time, particularly as the viewer walks around it.
Located in the Louisville Waterfront Park.