David Roland Smith (1906-1965) was an Abstract Expressionist sculptor and painter who studied at the Art Students League of New York with John Sloan and Jan Matulka. Smith identified himself as a workingman's artist. To support his family and finance his art, he took various jobs, including working as a riveter in the Studebaker car factory and as a welder for the American Locomotive Company. He also taught at Sarah Lawrence College.
Smith said that the only difference between painting and sculpture is the third dimension. He transformed two dimensional subjects such as landscapes, still-lifes, and even a page of writing into three dimensional sculptures. Many of his works incorporated found and industrial objects like boiler tank lids and circular saw blades. Smith said his "knowledge of art started with Cubism" and traversed a range of styles from figurative expressionism to Surrealistic abstraction and ended with his geometric constructions.