Vanishingly Massive

The Daily Pic: Tony Smith made a monument that's so pure, it's barely there.

10.22.12 1:42 PM ET

Tony Smith’s “Source” reaches toward the ceiling at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York. It’s a recent realization of a piece conceived by Smith in 1967, and displayed at the following year’s Documenta festival in Germany. Despite its bulk, my favorite thing about “Source” is that it can seem size-less: It is so much about the set of rules that dictate its shape that it would be the same piece as a desktop maquette or filling a skyscraper’s plaza. “Source” ends up feeling like an essentially virtual, Platonic, immaterial object. Even when you know it’s right before you, it could as easily be CGI. That makes it feel as much 2012 as 1967.

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