Throwback (3/3)

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Throwback (3/3)
Throwback (3-3), Smith.JPG
Artist Tony Smith
Year1976 (1976)–1979 (1979)
Type Aluminum, painted black
Dimensions206.4 cm× 395.9 cm× 242.9 cm(81 14 in× 155 78 in× 95 58 in)
Location Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., United States
Coordinates 38°53′17.34″N77°1′20.48″W / 38.8881500°N 77.0223556°W / 38.8881500; -77.0223556
Owner Smithsonian Institution

Throwback is a public artwork by American artist Tony Smith, located at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., United States. [1] This version is the third of an edition of three in the series with one artist's proof.

Anthony Peter Smith was an American sculptor, visual artist, architectural designer, and a noted theorist on art. He is often cited as a pioneering figure in American Minimalist sculpture.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Art museum in D.C., on the National Mall

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is an art museum beside the National Mall, in Washington, D.C., the United States. The museum was initially endowed during the 1960s with the permanent art collection of Joseph H. Hirshhorn. It was designed by architect Gordon Bunshaft and is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It was conceived as the United States' museum of contemporary and modern art and currently focuses its collection-building and exhibition-planning mainly on the post–World War II period, with particular emphasis on art made during the last 50 years.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.



The artwork is constructed sheets of aluminum that have been welded together at precise angles to form a geometric, four-sided, hollow, elongated ring. [2] The sculpture is coated with a flat-black industrial fluoropolymer exterior paint applied to achieve a matte finish. Currently sited on a patch of turf in the Sculpture Garden of the Hirshhorn, the sculpture is supported by three subterranean plates with brackets at three points. [3]

Historical information

In the early to mid-sixties, Smith experimented with tetrahedral and octahedral forms in sculptures such as Willy and Amaryllis. Over a decade later, Smith returned to these earlier geometries with Throwback. Thus the title of the work alludes to this act of looking back. Smith elaborated on this point, "In a certain sense the piece is unique. I did not have the prospect or opportunity of making a large architectural sculpture so I decided to do something more conventional. I made an object that recalls an earlier period." [4]

The International Paper Company was the first to purchase the first sculpture of the edition and originally displayed it at the company's New York headquarters. [5] It is now owned by the City of New York and on display at 1166 Avenue of the Americas.

<i>Throwback</i> (1/3) sculpture by Tony Smith

Throwback (1/3) is a public artwork by American artist Tony Smith, located in the Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) Plaza at 1166 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, New York.

The second version was purchased by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and is currently on display. [6] The artists proof has not been fabricated.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art modern art museum in San Francisco, California, USA

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is a modern art museum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art, and was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th-century art. The museum's current collection includes over 33,000 works of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, and media arts. They are displayed in 170,000 square feet (16,000 m2) of exhibition space, making the museum one of the largest in the United States overall, and one of the largest in the world for modern and contemporary art.

Several other versions of the work exist. In 1976, a smaller (62 × 150 inches), unique version of the work was installed at Grove Isle, Coconut Grove, Florida. A full-scale plywood model, painted black, was created for exhibition at the Pace Gallery in 1979. A cardboard maquette (measuring 13 1/2 × 32 1/2 × 16 inches) was intended to serve as the model of an edition of 9 bronzes. [7] However, the maquette was ultimately produced in a numbered edition of 6.

Grove Isle Place in Florida, United States

Grove Isle is a 20-acre island lying off the north-east coast of Miami's Coconut Grove neighborhood. Three waterfront hi-rise residences have been built on the island which were master-planned to include a resort hotel, restaurants, marina, club amenities and services.

The Pace Gallery is an American contemporary and modern art gallery with 10 locations worldwide. It was founded in Boston by Arne Glimcher in 1960. Arne's son, Marc Glimcher, is the current President and CEO of Pace Gallery.


While the work is dated from 1976–1977, the Hirshhorn's edition of the work was acquired from the Pace Gallery in 1980. Lippincott, Inc fabricated the sculpture in North Haven, Connecticut, in the same year. [8]

See also

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  1. Smithsonian (1996). "Throwback, (sculpture)". Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture. Smithsonian. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  2. "Throwback Save Outdoor Sculpture! entry". Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  3. Conservation file. 2010. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
  4. Hunter, S. 1979. The sculpture of Tony Smith. In Tony Smith: Ten Elements and Throwback, ed. Pace Gallery. New York: Pace Gallery. 1-9.
  5. Glueck, G. 1980. Tony Smith, 68, sculptor of minimalist structures. New York Times, December 27.
  6. San Francisco Museum of Art (2010). "Tony Smith". Our Collection. SFMOMA. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  7. McClintic, M. 1979. Memorandum: propose acquisition of Throwback, 28 September 1979. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Archives, Washington, D.C.
  8. Glimcher, A.B. 1979. Letter from Arnold B. Glimcher to Abram Lerner, 12 December 1979. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Archives, Washington, D.C.