David Smith - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Thursday, May 19, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "Your world may be rocked by David Smith’s spray paintings and drawings, contrived with a wily stencil technique that cushions crisp white silhouettes in clouds of color. Seen with Smith’s sculptures and other works, they tend to look brittle and lightweight, like distractions. On their own, in bulk, bolstered by several large, unfamiliar canvases, they feel different. They become complex, daring and pugnacious, like formalist graffiti art. They are also very much of the moment... they bring to mind both the decorative precision of the painter Philip Taaffe and the reckless disregard of artists like Steven Parrino."
    —Roberta Smith, The New York Times, 2008

    • Provenance

      Estate of the Artist
      Gagosian Gallery, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2008

    • Exhibited

      New York, French & Company, Inc., David Smith: Paintings and Drawings, September 16–October 10, 1959, no. 13, n.p.
      Dallas, Nasher Sculpture Center, David Smith: Drawing and Sculpting, April 16–July 17, 2005, no. 46, p. 114 (illustrated)
      New York, Gagosian Gallery, David Smith: Sprays, January 17–February 23, 2008, no. 20, pp. 36–38 (illustrated, p. 36–38)

    • Literature

      Charissa N. Terranova, "Modernism Found," Dallas Observer, May 5, 2005, online (erroneously titled Main Prierlot)
      Roberta Smith, "Art in Review: David Smith: Sprays," The New York Times, January 25, 2008, online (illustrated)
      "Art Wave ‘08," La Vie, no. 47, March 2008, p. 142 (illustrated)

Property of an American Collector


Main Pribilof

signed and dated “David Smith 1959” lower right; signed, titled and dated "Main Pribilof David Smith 1959" on the original stretcher
spray enamel and oil on canvas
98 1/4 x 51 3/4 in. (249.6 x 131.4 cm)
Executed in 1959.

Full Cataloguing

$300,000 - 400,000 

Sold for $277,200

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 19 May 2022