Installation view, Josh Smith, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Löwenbräu Areal, Zurich, 2015
Galerie Eva Presenhuber is pleased to announce its third solo exhibition with works by Josh Smith in the spaces of the Löwenbräu Areal. The show presents new works in various dimensions, techniques, and motifs.
Josh Smith is distinguished by his mastery of the most varied mediums—painting, collage, sculpture, graphics, and ceramics. He first became known for his so-called “Name Paintings.” In them his own name appears in constantly new variations as the main pictorial motif—a reflection of the search for an unmistakable artistic identity. His perfectly pedestrian name is not the content, however, but rather an opportunity to experiment with the most varied painting styles, and with them, despite their explicit signature—or precisely because of it—to render any notion of distinctiveness absurd. In his collages as well, where found materials like newspaper clippings or take-out menus are combined with his own drawings, posters and objects from his studio, the focus is on the myth of artistic authenticity.
In recent years Smith has developed an idiosyncratic, abstract manner of painting that includes such motifs as leaves, fish, skeletons, insects, ghosts, and sunsets. He employs these somewhat arbitrary themes alternately in aggressive, playful and repetitious ways, and frequently in oddly eccentric ones. He forces us to focus not so much on the aesthetic result as on his process.