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Acrylic and newspaper collage on wooden panel
152,5 x 122 cm
Inv. Nr. 62

Born in 1976 in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Lives and works in New York City, New York, USA

Josh Smith, active since the end of the nineties, has been developing a very prolific and expressionist work in painting, book publishing, collages and installations. For some years, he has been using his own name as an endless pattern of his paintings. The letters are extended, shortened, twisted, melted or broken down until unrecognizable but not devoid of meaning: in this way, the artist deals very cleverly and sensibly with the issue of the subject and questions the structures of language and symbols by which meaning is created. His repetitive and obsessive practice of painting his signature – which conveys a near abstraction – also explores the ideas of authorship and originality. His post-expressionist manner, which evokes the most famous figures of modern and contemporary painting, from De Kooning to Schnabel and Basquiat, deals with these ideas as well. The naïve spontaneity of Smith’s painting meets a corrosive lucidity, where the simplicity of his artistic gesture suggests new courses in the artist’s role.