Shinique Smith: STARGAZING
David Castillo presents STARGAZING, the gallery’s fifth solo exhibition of new works
by Shinique Smith. Known for conveying the power of human expression through her exuberant paintings, sculptures, and large-scale installations, Smith’s new works deftly interlace the subtle juxtaposition between objects, forms, and the meaning imbued therein.
These new paintings channel the artist’s deeper inner world with that of collective consciousness. Water within this cosmology is the harmonizing medium that aligns with the emotional state of the body. By synergizing herself with the fluid nature of her inks and paint, and at times blindfolding herself, Smith’s works effortlessly channel the subconscious and intuitive state, while mapping connections between cultural memory, spirit, and breath.
In her Breathing Room: Moon’ Marked Journey short film and photo editions, Smith continues to cultivate her use of breath as a material and as a vehicle for prayer, by paralleling it with figures ritualistically shrouding themselves in indigo cotton textiles: which were a significant commodity and currency during the Transatlantic Slave trade.
The image of the body prevails in these works, bringing far-off histories to a palpable, human scale, and highlighting the body’s capacities for perseverance, strength, and transformation. These pieces reinvigorate Smith’s exploration of the human form, as seen previously through the artist’s bundled sculptures, wrapped in textiles, which become a subject collaged with the artist’s inquiries into shared pasts and futures. The body and its scale in Smith’s works are present by its absence in the once-owned clothes and personal effects embedded within her pieces, and in the energetic, gestural mark-making of the artist’s hand.
STARGAZING weighs the connections drawn by Smith across the universal and personal scales of humanity, turning to the stars to locate our embodied histories.
Shinique Smith’s solo exhibition STARGAZERS was recently on view at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS. In the last year, Smith’s works have been presented in exhibitions at the Columbia Museum of Art, SC; Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami; The Baltimore Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of Art; and the Brooklyn Museum, NY, among others. Her works are part of the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum; The Denver Art Museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Margulies Collection and The Rubell Family Collection, Miami; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, among others. Smith has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Tiffany Prize, and this year she was a recipient of the Academy of Arts + Letters Purchase Prize. Smith was born in Baltimore, MD, and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.