Local artist heads across the pond for New York opening

High Blue Country, pic: Anj Smith and Hauser & Wirth

New Yorkers will have the chance to witness a little bit of Hackney art and culture first-hand when artist Anj Smith’s work goes on display tomorrow (Tuesday) at the Hauser & Wirth Gallery.

The upcoming show, The Flowering of Phantoms, will be Smith’s third solo exhibition in New York City, and her fourth in the whole of the United States.

Smith, a painter who lives and works in Hackney Wick and received her MA Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London, said this about her pieces: “…In my work – there is no single concrete narrative. Symbols no longer stand for fixed intentions and a skull can mean pretty much anything, including, at the moment, an iconic motif for a scarf.”

The paintings in the collection are a combination of portraits and landscapes.  Many of the portraits feature a human posed with various animals.

A book, the first monograph to exclusively feature her work, was published by Hauser & Wirth and Mack and will be released to coincide with the New York opening.  Her book Anj Smith Paintings, by art critic and curator Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith, features an interview with Smith conducted by critic and writer Alison Gingeras.

In the interview Smith comments on her choice of medium: “Painting in general is definitely considered less conceptually relevant in some quarters, something to be tolerated, but not cutting edge… It’s a pointless way of making an image now and it’s so excessive (and, in my case, painstakingly slow). It’s clumsy, awkward and it compromises the image – and for me, that’s where its profundity lies.”

In addition to America, Smith’s paintings have featured all around the world including: India, Lithuania, Thailand, and England.

This exhibit will open at the 69th Street location of Hauser & Wirth New York on January 15 and continue through February 23.  This is Smith’s second exhibit at the gallery, the first one having been in September 2010.




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