David Smith used a blowtorch to cut this sculpture’s chunky central form from a sheet of steel. He then welded this form to a wheeled trolley, anchored it in space with a rectangle of steel bars, and painted it black and red. Gondola emerges as a kind of freestanding action painting. Like the railway hopper cars after which the work is titled, Gondola rolls into our space, boldly asserting its presence and power.



  • Title: Gondola
  • Creator: David Smith
  • Creator Lifespan: 1906/1965
  • Creator Nationality: American
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Shaftsbury, VT
  • Creator Birth Place: Decatur, IN
  • Date: 1961/1961
  • Location Created: United States
  • Provenance: M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York; Richard LiBrizzi, Kew Gardens, New York, 1975; Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.; Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. to the Chrysler Museum, 1977.
  • Physical Dimensions: 69 x 61 x 18 in. (175.3 x 154.9 x 45.7 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: © Estate of David Smith / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Image used with permission of the Estate of David Smith, 2016-2026.
  • Medium: Painted steel

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