I've been meaning to see the David Smith show at the Whitney – personally, he's always been one of those artists where I know I should care, but I've never seen enough work at once to figure out why. Tonight's gallery talk might finally get me out: they've brought in sculptor Charles Ray and art historian Michael Fried, whose attacks on minimalism in the late 1960s set the tone for much of how we discuss sculpture today. Fried's actually apparently written at least one poem about Smith, including “David Smith”, for the October 1966 issue of The Review, and the possibly-different-but-possibly-a-reprint “A visit to David Smith”, in his 1994 collection To the Center of the Earth: Poems. Somebody be sure to ask him to clarify.
If you don't go to that, your best bet tonight is the opening of Illegitimate and Herstorical, the Emily Roysdon-curated open-call show at AIR Gallery. The conceit may sound familiar – there's a lot of legitimacy-questioning and history-queering in the press release – but it's the sort of subject matter Roysdon excels at, and when she's on she's fantastic.
Gallery Talk: Charles Ray and Michael Fried on David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy, Tonight, January 5th, 7PM, Whitney Museum of American Art.
Opening Reception, Illegitimate and Herstorical, Tonight, January 5th, 6-9pm, AIR Gallery, 111 Front Street, #228, DUMBO (PDF here).