Deploying an economy of means, line, and gesture, Molly Smith’s (b. 1976) installation of watercolors and painted plaster objects combine an ephemeral materialism with uncanny whimsicality. The artist’s dream-like imagery can never quite be pinned down: with one foot in the door of the familiar, and one in the door of the unfamiliar, Smith’s restrained yet spontaneous sensibility evokes the sleep of reason, conjuring up a sort of psychological twilight zone.
Image and abstraction collapse into poetic evocations of mystery: at once elegant, beautiful and disturbing, Smith’s watercolors and sculptures can be characterized as graceful, semantic slips—slipping traces of underworlds and undertows, siren songs of wonder.
The artist’s installation includes watercolors in a variety of sizes-
from large to small-and three-dimensional works made of cast plaster, paper, and paint occupying the gallery’s floor, walls, and ceiling. New York-based Molly Smith is a recent M.F.A. graduate of Columbia University.