Along with paintings and collages mounted on panels, Smith produces small, limited–edition, hand–bound, photocopied books with pages of quick sketches relating to a particular theme, event, or genre. Subjects have included a history of flight, Claude Monet’s Water Lilies paintings, cave drawings, ghosts and devils, public transportation, and the exploits of Frank and Jesse James. This is a complete collection of Smith’s books to date, housed in a unique wooden case bearing imprints of the artist’s hands, sitting on two painted stools. He compiled pages selected from throughout the collection into two volumes for visitors to look through. When not on view, the books are available for study by appointment in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books’ Study Center.
Gallery label from Book/Shelf, March 26–July 7, 2008.