Where Monday is on Sunday
11-18 November 2011
Anj Smith, Evolution in Poetic Language, 2010. Oil on linen, 37,4x29cm.
Zabludowicz Collection. Photo : Alex Delfanne.
Courtesy of IBID PROJECTS, London and Hauser & Wirth, New York
Anj Smith’s paintings often involve thick impasto paint slung casually onto the linen, as well as zones of neurotic minutiae, banks of saturated colour and more barren, scratched areas. The works made for Villa Tokyo are in keeping with the intimate scale of much of her painting. Here, fragile psychological states are evoked in post-pastoral landscapes – among the strewn debris of past trends and reconfigured haute couture, the depicted relics of past languages have evolved into newly unstable meanings. ‘I see my work as partly being a comment upon the delight and materiality of painting, as well as the limits of being an artist in general,’ Smith has written. ‘I try to convey both the clumsy pointlessness of painting as a means of representation and the inability to transcend the physical, while making an object that contradicts both these things. One of the characteristics of painting that I find deeply satisfying is that by using different visual languages, portals of contrasting logic can pop up unexpectedly at any time. As long as they resonate with the conceptual intentions of the work, I let them in. There’s definitely no literal or singular narrative in any of the paintings. I think of them as having multiple narratives layered on top of each other, a bit like the narrative arrangement in Nabokov’s ‘Terra Incognita’’.
Anj Smith (b. 1978), lives and works in London
35 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NN