The prestigious Yvon Lambert Gallery
welcomes, until July 31, the young and colorful American artist, Shinique Smith; playing with
clothes, literature and common objects, “Ten Times Myself” plays within the limits of art and creates delicate forms speaking to nostalgia through an autobiographical narrative.
Shinique Smith (b.72) crosses the boundaries of sculptures, painting, site installation and literature. Picking phrases from songs or novels, she rewrites them with in a graceful yet potent
calligraphy, which leads toward abstraction. The wrapping and rewrapping of text and lines, lines around textiles or old clothes, appears ritualistic. As a “frenetic meditation”, the act of
bundling and tying is also a way towards spirituality, which has many connections to other cultures, like tying things together to create fetish objects.
This first solo exhibition showcases her newest works. There won’t be in situ creation on the walls like she did before, and it will more focus on canvases and sculptures of cloths. The canvases
have the ardent style owing from Abstract expressionism and Japanese Calligraphy and express a great spontaneity yet controlled, movement. She uses various media, mixing ink, oil, enamel, fabric
and collage. No overweight, the dynamic and the balance are just perfect.
A pile of clothes symbolizes a compression of memories while blurring the context of life and art, the real and the perceived. Untitled (whistler’s Mother) gathers in the shape of a human sitting
some tied clothes. Facing this sculpture, we travel through time, giving significance to this insignificant pile of clothes, left there, neglected, but yet taking by magic the shape of a
person. About this use of the clothes, Smith said : “I wanted to allow them to not be just a surface but have their own identity […] There are some ideals attached to the clothing we wear.
One thing I’m interested in is how we see ourselves in the world and how that’s expressed by how we dress ourselves.”
In the inheritance of Annette Messager and Yinka Shonibare
, Smith seems to have a great future announced: this potent and
controlled spontaneity, the abundance of colors and intelligent use of the media are all the ingredients for a good development. And the fact that this exhibition takes to Yvon Lambert Gallery is
also a good omen for it… to be continued…
Smith’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally at venues including The National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.; The New Museum, New York; Deutsche
Guggenheim, Berlin; PS 1 Contemporary Arts Center, New York; and The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Colorado. She is included in public collections such as The Denver Art Museum, Colorado;
The Studio Museum, New York; The Margulies Collection, Miami; The Rubell Family Collection, Miami; and the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore.
[Visual : Top : Shinique Smith,, Bottom : Shinique Smith, Untitled (whistler's Mother), 2009, clothing, fabric, ribbon, rope, twine, chair, wall and collage, 52 x 44 x 34 in. courtesy Yvon
Lambert Gallery, New York, 2009]