For her New York debut, Californian artist Ali Smith will present a dynamic new series of large-scale paintings entitled “The Rubble Luxe”.
“The Rubble Luxe” plays generously upon the viewer’s imagination by setting the stage with a rich dichotomy of thick vs thin brushstroke, fecund vs barren surface, and dazzling vs decayed content. Smith’s raw palette of pure color and muscular command of pigment unite to assert a passion for process and materials. The presence and physicality of the paint seize the surface and permeate the air, forming a pure sculptural statement which leaps from the 2-D surface. Smith confidently employs these devices in generating arrangements that are defined by paradox: scenes that are at once fluid and off-kilter, playful and dangerous, carefree and obsessive. The impossible terrain that characterizes the work reveals the whimsical mental space of the artist – demonstrating the inherent paradox of opposites and extremes which comprise the human psyche. “Curiouser and curiouser” – to quote a well-loved children’s spiritual guide….
Smith is also a well-versed formalist who isn’t afraid to display her accomplished chops. Within these abstract landscapes are distinct architectural fields delineated by her thick impasto, grounding the work with the viscerality of the medium and providing analog to the dramatic topography of the canvas. Graceful compositions result from the acceptance of free association; anthropomorphic shapes disappear as quickly as they present themselves to the eye. Underlying her overt abstraction, however, Smith possesses a lyrical humanity, a baroque energy which she discloses turn by turn through her rich painterly language.
“The Rubble Luxe” occupies a permanently liminal space, that transitional moment in which something is neither here nor there, manifested as much by its ephemeral quality as by its physicality. Like a stone breaking the water’s surface – or DeKooning’s “Door” – these works present a window into the unknown, to possibility – appearing and vanishing forever, all at the same time.
Ali Smith received her MFA from California State University where she was awarded a Fine Arts scholarship. She completed an artist’s residency at Stichting Kaus Australis in the Netherlands and has exhibited in Europe, Japan, and the United States – notably at Mark Moore Gallery in LA. Her work is included in, amongst other collections, the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation. She lives and works in Long Beach, CA.