Shinique Smith – To the Ocean of Everyone Else

November 10 – December 22, 2011
Brand New Gallery – via Farini 32 – Milan

Brand New Gallery presents To the Ocean of Everyone Else, the first Italian exhibition by the American artist Shinique Smith. Reaching beyond the confines of sculpture, painting and site-specific installation, Shinique Smith’s works combine complex social and cultural references drawn from a vast range of resources from art history to urban life.  Graffiti, Japanese calligraphy, abstract expressionism and minimalist sculpture are but some of the cross-references we can perceive in the artist’s work.  Without preparatory sketches or preconceived compositions, Smith sees each one of her paintings as an act of “frenetic meditation” in which, through fluid movements, she allows her hand to lead, guide and outline calligraphic gestures which dance across the canvas.

Her sculptures, three-dimensional collages of clothes and objects tied with ropes, reveal a combination of formal beauty and social critique, underlining the global problems of reuse and recycling.  Inspired by the nature of the “things” we consume and abandon and their influence on our individual and collective experiences, Smith reinterprets the links that go into the creation of our myths, our personal memories and our relationship with the vastness of existence.  Each object is instilled with the story of the individual who possessed it; material, excess and waste are intimately tied in with personal significance and market value. Through language, colour, fabrics and objects that have been found, Shinique Smith investigates our growing dependence on the acquisition of material goods, encouraging the spectator to weigh up the disadvantages of an economy based on consumption while simultaneously exploring the possibilities of abstraction.

Image above: Bale Variant No. 0019 (with flowers), 2010 - Clothing, fabric, faux flowers, ribbon, twine and wood - 51 x 51 x 51 cm - Courtesy Brand New Gallery, Milan

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Somewhere out there (in here), 2011
Acrylic, ink and fabric collage on canvas over panel
152 x 244 cm
Courtesy Brand New Gallery, Milan

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The Uncertainty of Air, 2011
Acrylic, ink, fabric, metal can and paper collage on canvas over panel
122 x 91 x 5 cm
Courtesy Brand New Gallery, Milan