Hauser & Wirth | Presenting Two New Exhibitions In The Heart of New York

Debuting David Smith & Enuma Okoro's Latest Collections

Written by

Julia Smith

Photographed by

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Cosmic Echoes, Adama Delphine Fawundu, 2023

Opening this spring, Hauser & Wirth New York presents two new exhibitions; each examining the world through rich material history. Presenting seven of David Smith’s most important sculptures in a collection titled No One Thing, it runs concurrently with a new multidisciplinary exhibition, curated by multi-hyphenate writer and lecturer Enuma Okoro, titled The Flesh of the Earth. A contemplation on the natural and built environments that surround us, these two exhibitions work in concert to deconstruct and rebuild ideas of human artistic medium and storytelling. 

Zig I, David Smith, 1961

In the curation of The Flesh of the Earth, Okoro encourages us to consider our intimate relationship with the natural world - whether it’s through rebirth, estrangement and connection. This latest exhibition features the works of artists Olafur Eliasson, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Jenny Holzer, Rashid Johnson, Haley Mellin, Cassi Namoda, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Billie Zangewa. 

Accented by moments of earthly levity in muted peachy greens, the pieces work together to create an awareness of the more-than-human experience and tied by blue motifs. Welcoming in the spring and providing organic nourishment to its otherwise manmade surroundings in the monolithic Chelsea Piers, Okoro has curated a space for us to contemplate our pathalassic origins. Placing humanity as an actor, and not as the direct subject, this exhibit begins a dialogue in how we view ourselves beyond the scope of the Anthropecene. 

Rebecca Circle, David Smith, 1961

To that note, The Flesh of the Earth is also deeply personal, reflecting on identity - both individual and that of the diaspora as the push-pull of rejection and familiarity snakes it way through the various works. 

In the laterally adjoining exhibit, David Smith’s garden of sculptures can be seen on the top floor of Hauser & Wirth’s 22nd Street location. Viewers are inviting explore Smith’s new world of construction, which combines the artist’s technical skill acquired during World War II building tanks, with his genre stretching metalworking practice. Framed through an acid and bold-tinged oculus, Smith’s pieces are impossibly featherweight to the eye, despite the tons of steel and bronze attached to its material description. Between structured and colorful improvisation, there is a contrast created in the minimal white construction. 

Lightning, Lorna Simpson, 2021

This collection is a peak at Smith’s oeuvre, which redefined what sculpture could look like in the modern world. Working up until the 1960s, when he passed, it was said that his works were to be thought of as constant iterations building, considering different angles of invention. Enuma Okoro’s The Flesh of the Earth and David Smith’s No One Thing, are now on view at Hauser & Wirth’s 22nd Street location until the 6th of April. It’s like a poorly written riddle hanging on to its fortuned answer: what can’t be smelled, seen or tangibly felt, but can be shared, learned and Unlike the eyeball, which is fully formed from birth, the human experience is something that continually develops and evolves with every lived experience. 

Walkie Talkie, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, 2022
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Hauser & Wirth, David Smith, Enuma Okoro, New York, Art, Julia Smith