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.
Josh Smith (b. 1976) is from Knoxville, Tennessee and lives and works in Brooklyn. He has had several solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad at institutions such as the Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome, The Brant Foundation, Greenwich, CT, Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva, De Hallen Haarlem, Haarlem, and MUMOK, Vienna. 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, The Generational: Younger Than Jesus at the New Museum in New York, MoMA's The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World, and most recently, Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, which showed at the Museum Brandhorst, Munich, and traveled to MUMOK, Vienna. 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.