Over the last decade, Smith has emerged as a prolific producer of abstract paintings, collages, prints, and artist’s books. His work has an expressionistic quality but, he has explained, it is “not just pure and free but somehow justified and logical.” He creates his projects through a process of recycling motifs—such as the fish in the print on view here—and reusing parts of his own past work. The bookcase, for example, is filled with twenty-eight of Smith’s photocopied, hand-bound, limited-edition artist’s books. While the format of the bookcase recalls an encyclopedia set, the volumes are utilized not for their contents but rather as the support for a painting. The painting across the books’ spines differs on each of the fifty editions of this bookcase, turning each copy into an original.
Gallery label from Abstract Generation: Now in Print, March 15–September 2, 2013.