Anton is widely revered for his signature overwhelming heads, face masks and monumental African sculptures. These works typically evoke themes of suffering, reconciliation and glory.
Anton’s illustrious career has seen him exhibit in numerous locations around the world, including Amsterdam (Netherlands); Hamburg (Germany); Genk (Belgium); New York City & Miami (USA); Rome & Milan (Italy); Singapore; and across South Africa.
Anton is regarded as one of South Africa’s most prominent sculptors. His works grace public and private collections across the world.
Anton collects sayings about the relationship between art and the individual artist’s experience of reality. “Art is not to render the visible but to render visible,” he asserts, and his art achieves this in many ways.
An inspiring raconteur, Anton enjoys relating tales of his struggles as a young sculpture artist. The secret to his success could be attributed to his courage and determination to forge ahead in the face of great difficulty.
“Take big risks. Don’t fret about what others think. Do the most difficult thing on earth for you – do it for yourself.”
Anton’s body of work comprises towering human figures, impressive heads, masks, hands, angels, floating and stretching figures, warriors as well as abstract works.
He uses mostly steel, metal, fibreglass and bronze.
Anton likes to imbue his work with an illusion of movement or gesture; bodies curling up or limbs reaching out to the onlooker; inspirational “action figures” projecting tremendous emotion; a call to movement. He works with metals and stones, also creating a unique iron and polymer cast mixture,which combines metal with several other mediums.
In 1994 Anton placed 35 sculptures on exhibition in New York City’s Grand Central Station as part of the “Strengthening the Link” initiative to boost trade between South Africa and the United States. He considers “The Age of Grace”, an eight-foot high bronze sculpture at Grand Central Station, which celebrated South African Heritage and was displayed on the front page of The New York Times, as one of the highlights of his career.
A collection of his work was exhibited during the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela in Pretoria, South Africa in 1994.
Anton’s work has been shown and lauded internationally in places as diverse as Rome and Milan, Italy (1991), the Sweeguan Art Gallery, Singapore (1993), Bonn and Wolfsburg, Germany (1994), Amsterdam, Netherlands (2004) and Cologne, Germany (2014).
In 2003, Anton opened his own sculpture garden, at the spectacular Anton Smit Sculpture Park in Bronkhorstspruit, South Africa, with breathtaking art and outstanding views overlooking the adjacent Bronkhorstspruit Dam.
Colossal Youth Series
"My flesh covers the tough clay, my bones to rocks are metamorphosed, that’s the cold northern star burning in my eyes, those legs, those thighs, my monstrous trunk, my erect head, here it ends." – Anton Smit