Josh Smith, Untitled, 2008 and Untitled, 2010. Mixed media on canvas, acrylic glass
Through paintings, collages, books, and ceramics, Josh Smith challenges the ideas of the artist. In forcing the painted image to be somewhat arbitrary, he has managed to take the act of painting beyond aesthetics.
Smith’s early training in printmaking is often the spur which drives his art making. Many of his paintings start with the artist’s name or a fish or leaf motif as a point of departure, but they typically eschew formal representation in favor of an exploration of abstraction. Other works, such as his palette paintings, are purely abstract and explore the notion of composition created by chance.
In his mixed media collages on plywood, subway maps, take-out menus, newspapers and street posters are combined with reproductions of Smith’s existing works as well as silk-screened text and original painting. Smith intersperses the manufactured with the handmade and elevates found materials by virtue of inclusion. He makes art so he can look at it.
Born in 1976, Josh Smith is from Knoxville, Tennessee. He has had numerous solo exhibitions. He lives and works in New York.