Josh Smith exhibit uncomfortably identical

by Audrey Fong,

Via Luhring Augustine

The Luhring Augustine Gallery in Chelsea is currently exhibiting a series of paintings by artist Josh Smith.  The gallery held its opening reception for the exhibit, titled “Sculpture,” on September 10.

The exhibit, which marks Smith’s sixth solo exhibition at the Luhring Augustine Gallery, features a collection of paintings from Smith, all of which are of minimalist spirit.  With each painting lined up carefully next to each other, it is easy to see how Smith explores one style relentlessly and obsessively.  It seemed that every painting in the exhibit was comprised of quick strokes of paint with occasional messy scribbles arranged randomly on an otherwise blank canvas.  

Although the paintings were similar to each other in style, in no way were they exact replicas of each other.  While some paintings featured alien-esque splotches crawling across the bottom, other paintings had colorful patches more closely resembling bacteria strands.  A few paintings, upon close inspection, look like paint peeling from a wooden surface.  Each painting is fundamentally abstract with no clear subject shown. It represents an experimentation of color, texture and style.

While Smith’s work is not necessarily conventional or traditionally beautiful, it is still a fascinating exploration of just one of Smith’s many different styles of art.

“Everything comes from a weird place that I don’t understand,” Smith said during an interview in 2011 with “Interview.”  “I make a piece of art just to prove that I exist in my own way.  And I can’t make something nice.  I have to make something that makes me uncomfortable.”

Josh Smith’s work will be on display at 531 West 24th Street until October 31.

Audrey Fong is a Contributing Writer. Email her at entertainment@nyunews.com

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