This image is presented as a "thumbnail" because it is protected by copyright. The Brooklyn Museum respects the rights of artists who retain the copyright to their work.
David Smith's The Hero conflates the abstract and the figurative, for discernible in this geometric steel sculpture is a life-size female. She is revealed frontally, balanced on a pedestal, with a rectangle for a torso, two triangular forms for breasts, and fragments of a tank top for a head. The Hero is a forerunner of more than ten sculptures produced between 1952 and 1960 that Smith titled his Tanktotem series. "Tank" refers to the industrial tank lids or boiler tops he used to construct his pieces, while "totem" may indicate the influence of Sigmund Freud's book Totem and Taboo.
- Artist: David Smith, American, 1906-1965
- Medium: Steel
- Dates: 1952
- Dimensions: 73 11/16 x 25 1/2 x 11 3/4 in. (187.16 x 64.77 x 29.84 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Contemporary Art
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 57.185
- Credit Line: Dick S. Ramsay Fund
- Rights Statement: © artist or artist's estate
- Caption: David Smith (American, 1906-1965). The Hero, 1952. Steel, 73 11/16 x 25 1/2 x 11 3/4 in. (187.16 x 64.77 x 29.84 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 57.185. © artist or artist's estate
- Record Completeness: Best (86%)