Before emerging as one of the forerunners of Minimal sculpture in the 1960s, Tony Smith worked as an apprentice to architect Frank Lloyd Wright and practiced as an architect from 1940 to 1960. His sculpture is generally composed of simple geometric forms constructed of steel and is easily recognized by its stark, monochromatic appearance. Smith composed Amaryllis using two geometric shapes that change dramatically as the viewer circles the sculpture. From one view the sculpture appears as a balanced form consisting of two identical shapes. Viewed from the side, it appears unbalanced, as though the supported form might topple. The material the artist used for the work, Cor-Ten steel, achieves a rust-brown color if left unpainted when it is exposed to rain and snow. The Walker's sculpture is painted black, conforming with Smith's original conception of the work's spare surface and clean geometric form.