DAVID SMITHSON studied architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York (1974-77) as well as sculpture at the University of Wyoming, Laramie – receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Sculpture in 1983 - and has lived in Europe since 1984. His oeuvre is based on a dialogue between the European and American cultural traditions, mixing minimal art and pop art with a European conceptual and critical approach. His production includes sculpture, photography, video and installation. He has realized several major public art commissions in the Netherlands. His recent work has focused on renewable energy issues and sustainability, and involved a five-year collaborative project with the Museum of Contemporary Art MSU Zagreb, including a conference and a series of workshops. This resulted in a proposal for an energy pavilion for the museum roof, as well as a free-standing solar-powered automatic door.
His solo exhibitions and projects include Solar Powered Door (to Nothingness), City of Amsterdam-Ost, 2020; Kunst im Stadtraum am Hansaplatz / Bringt ein paar Stühle mit, in collaboration with Kristina Leko, Senate Council for Culture and Europe / Berlin-Mitte, 2019; Solar Powered Vernacular House, Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU) Zagreb, 2013-2018; Snoring in the USA, NGBK Berlin, 2011; Shsshpopp! Psst!, MSU Zagreb, 2010; Snoring in the USA - in collaboration with Kristina Leko, Art Pavilion Zagreb, 2010; Burning Boots, Galerie Löhrl, Mönchengladbach, 2008; The F-Song, Croxhapox, Gent, 2007; Bach Backwards, Museo Pecci, Prato, 2006; Burning Boots, etc., Galerie Martin Kudlek, Cologne, 2004. His group exhibitions include examples to follow! / zur nachahmung empfohlen!, Berlin, Jerusalem, Erfurt, Bonn, Valparaiso, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lima, Essen, Puebla, Sao Paolo, Mumbai, Beijing, Hamburg, 2011-2023; Art & the City, Lauba, Zagreb, billboard group exhibition, 2022; Testlauf, Künstlerdorf Schöppingen, 2014; GrensWerte Welt-Ausstellung, Rheine, 2014; Drifters, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin 2012; Le Mépris, Mediamatic Amsterdam, 2007; News from Home, The White Box/Annex, New York, 2004; Gegen den Strich - Sammlung Mies, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 2000. Videoscreenings include Arizona International Film Festival, Tucson, Arizona, 2004; The Gladys Crane Mountain Plains Film Festival - Universty of Wyoming, Laramie, 2003; 40th Polyphonix Festival of Polypoetry and Multimedia Art; Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2002. Public art commissions and works in collections include City of Amsterdam; Stadt Krimpen aan den Ijssel; Stadt Vlissingen, Crabeth College, Gouda, all in the Netherlands; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka, Croatia; Tainan Sculpture Park, Tainan, Taiwan; University of Oklahoma, Norman, USA; Springfield Museum of Art, Missouri, USA. Joint projects - Kristina Leko and David Smithson: Kako Živi Narod (How People Live), 2016, MSU Zagreb; Snoring in the USA, Art Pavilion, Zagreb, 2010 and NGBK, Berlin 2011; Kattenburger Triumphal Arch, 2007-10, Amsterdam Centrum, commissioned by the City of Amsterdam; Missing Monuments, 2007, Institut für Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Steiermark, Graz.