Tony Smith had worked as an apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright and was a practicing architect, designer, and painter for twenty years before turning to sculpture around 1960. Creating his monochromatic works in steel out of simple geometric forms, Smith influenced the development of Minimal sculpture—which values rational order, conceptual rigor, and clarity over expressive values and content. Amaryllis, composed of two polyhedron shapes, changes dramatically as the viewer circles it. From one perspective the two shapes appear identical and balanced; from the side view the entire structure seems ready to topple. Smith titled this work Amaryllis because the piece at first appeared rather ungainly to him, just as the amaryllis plant seemed “some terrible aberration of form.
© 1998 Walker Art Center