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Brandhorst Flag Commission: Nora Turato

Permanent exhibition

Cy Twombly at Museum Brandhorst

David Smith


  • MaterialSteel
  • Dimensions80 x 216 x 51 cm
  • On viewGround floor
  • CopyrightVG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022 © Rheinisches Bildarchiv

For children and all the 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.

Hier geht's zur Factory

Further artworks

Alexandra Bircken„Fruit Sticker I”, 2021 Edition für das Museum Brandhorst, Tuch mit buntem Digitaldruck auf Seide
Alexandra Bircken Fruit Sticker I, 2021
Cy Twombly, Lepanto I, 2001, UAB 469Lepanto Zyklus aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Cy Twombly Lepanto I, 2001
Cy Twombly , Untitled (Rome), 1983, UAB 460aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Cy Twombly Untitled (Rome), 1983
Cy Twombly, Winter's Passage: Luxor (Rome), 1985, UAB 461aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Cy Twombly Winter’s Passage: Luxor (Rome), 1985
Bruce Nauman All Thumbs, 1996