14. Stinger

14. Stinger

"Stinger," one of Tony Smith's most monumental works, was donated by his family to the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Did You Know?

The dates

1967–68, 1999

What is it made of?

Steel, painted black

How big is it?

6 feet 6 inches x 33 feet 4.25 inches x 33 feet 4.25 inches

Learn More

Initially trained as an architect, Tony Smith first experimented with sculpture when he was nearly fifty. Stinger, one of his most monumental works, recalls an ancient structure such as a fortress, with three closed sides and one open side inviting the viewer to cross a threshold to its interior.

Composed of cross-sections of tetrahedral and octahedral shapes, the sculpture combines a simple plan and complex elevation; resting on a single point it appears to hover above the ground. Originally called One Gate, Smith titled Stinger after the popular cocktail that is deceptively sweet but slyly intoxicating.

Gift of Jane Smith, 2004.117, © 2006 Estate of Tony Smith/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The Artist

In the Artist's Words

Under the original title, One Gate, a preliminary drawing for the artwork reads, "Even those who enter by the wrong gate, who take the wrong path, will find their way. It shall be the right way, the correct way."
– Tony Smith

About the Artist

American architect, sculptor, and painter Tony Smith was born in South Orange, New Jersey in 1912, and graduated from a Jesuit high school in New York. He dropped out of college to enter his father's manufacturing business, working as a toolmaker, draftsman and purchasing agent, while studying art part-time.

At the New Bauhaus in Chicago, Smith studied architecture in 1937, then landed an apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright; he opened his own architectural firm in 1940. In 1955 he returned to the East Coast to teach at Hunter College, Bennington College and later Princeton University. Increasingly he turned his attention to sculpture. In 1966 he exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and since then his work has been presented and collected internationally. He passed away in 1980.