The work of Josh Smith is distinguished by his mastery of multiple mediums (including painting, collage, sculpture, book and printmaking, and ceramics), and his tendency to acknowledge trends in painting and sculpture by expressly upending them. His most iconic works are paintings that boldly feature his name as their subject; in recent years, the name has given way to motifs such as leaves, fish, skeletons, insects, ghosts, and sunsets. In selecting these rather arbitrary subjects and rendering them in a manner that is by turns aggressive, playful, repetitive, and oblique, Smith compels us to move beyond aesthetics towards a focus on process and looking. He makes art so he can look at it.
Josh Smith (b. 1976) is from Knoxville, Tennessee and lives and works between Pennsylvania and New York. He has had several solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad, most notably The American Dream at The Brant Foundation in Greenwich, CT in 2011, Josh Smith at the Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève in 2009, Who Am I at De Hallen Haarlem in 2009, and Hidden Darts at MUMOK in Vienna in 2008. He has also participated in important group exhibitions such as The Painting Factory: Abstraction after Warhol at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Le Printemps de Septembre in Toulouse, ILLUMInations in the 2011 Venice Biennale, and The Generational: Younger Than Jesus at the New Museum in New York. His works are in numerous public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, MUMOK, Vienna, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.