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Brandhorst Flag Commission: Philipp Gufler


La vie en rose. Brueghel, Monet, Twombly

Permanent exhibition

From Andy Warhol to Kara Walker. Scenes from the Collection

Permanent exhibition

Cy Twombly at Museum Brandhorst

David Smith


  • MaterialSteel
  • Dimensions80 x 216 x 51 cm
  • On viewCurrently not exhibited
  • CopyrightVG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022 © Rheinisches Bildarchiv

for kids (and anyone else who is curious!)

Acrobat, dancer, or robot? There are so many possibilities here! The steel figure is larger than life and balances on stilts. It grows out of an element that might also remind us of an old, bent bicycle. But instead of tires we see a rectangle and twisting, awkward-looking bars. Even though the lower part is rather thin and wiry, the top piece seems to be pointing to the left. Doesn’t the upper part maybe remind you also of a leather bicycle saddle? But what kind of bumpy ride would that be, on this slight-looking frame, without tires and pedals?


The artwork is untitled and was created by the American sculptor David Smith. He made it in the 1950s. During the war, the artist worked as a welder for the American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, New York. His steel sculptures, like “Untitled”, are made from old, discarded machine parts and tools that recall “old times,” but the shape is new and modern. When the artist created the sculpture, it was the so-called postwar era, and all over Europe people were surrounded by the massive destruction caused by air raids. The US was largely spared, people were better off there, and experienced strong economic growth. Instead of tanks, warships and airplanes, cars, refrigerators and televisions were now being made. For many, their lives now revolved around their personal happiness, as well as consumption and pleasure.

This way to the Factory

Further artworks

Bruche Nauman, Beating With a Basebal Bet, 2010'Forever Young' - 10 Jahre Museum Brandhorst
Bruce Nauman Beating With a Baseball Bat, 1986 yes Ground floor
Gegenstandslose Malerei mit Pinselstrichen in den Farben Blau, Rot, Weiß und einem auffälligen gelben Farbfleck in der rechten oberen Bildhälfte. Vereinzelt sind kleine Symbole, Zahlen sowie Buchstaben zu erkennen.
Pope.L The Black Painting, 2015 yes Ground floor
Malerei, die drei aufgespießte Köpfe zeigt. Im Hintergrund ist ein Kirchturm zu sehen, der in Flammen steht.
Sigmar Polke Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, 1988 yes Ground floor
Werkabbildung Cy Twombly, Bacchanalia - Fall (5 Days in November), 1977 im Museum Brandhorst in München Teil der Sammlung Brandhorst
Cy Twombly Bacchanalia – Fall (5 Days in November), 1977 yes Upper floor
Cy Twombly, Untitled (Camino Real), UAB 806aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Cy Twombly Untitled (Camino Real), 2011 yes Upper floor