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 Ray Smith  (1959 - )

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Lived/Active: New York/Texas / Mexico      Known for: surreal genre, collage, still life

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Ad Code: 3
Ray Smith
from Auction House Records.
La Diplomatica
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Painter and sculptor Ray Smith was born in Brownsville, Texas, in 1959, on lands that his family had settled in the early 19th Century when it was still part of Mexico. He grew up in central Mexico. He studied fresco painting with traditional craftsmen in Mexico, attended art academies in Mexico and the United States, and settled in Mexico City. Since 1985, he has divided his time between New York and Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Smith's work is related to surrealism in his unreal juxtaposition of objects that may or may not be painted realistically. The artist sometimes uses dogs and animals as surrogates, shamans, or symbols of a more primal nature lurking beneath the surface. They are an "entity of the human figure," says Smith. "They are beasts, but they are directly attached to a blueprint of our own existence." Painted lightbulbs emerge from the heads of seagulls; a human-sized frog is superimposed on a naked woman, while smaller frogs of various sizes sit on parts of her body.

Considered both an American and Latin American artist, Smith's work has been widely exhibited both sides of the border in the United States, Mexico and South America, as well as in Japan and Europe.

His first one-man show, of acrylic paintings, was held at the Galería del Instituto Mexicano Norteamericano de Relaciones Culturales in Mexico City in 1978, when Smith was less than twenty years old. He exhibited in the 1989 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; the First Triennial of Drawings at the Joan Miro Foundation in Barcelona, Spain; and "Latin American Artists of the 20th Century," an exhibition that traveled from Seville, Spain to the Musee National d'Art Moderne at the Pompidou Center in Paris, France; the Kunsthalle Cologne, Germany; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York City. During the last two decades, Smith has had 50 one-man exhibitions.

Smith's paintings are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Brooklyn Museum of Art; and Metropolitan Museum of Art, all in New York City; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Houston Museum of Contemporary Art, Texas; Miami Art Museum, Florida; Wurth Museum, Kunzelman, Germany; Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.

A list of some of Ray Smith's one-man shows includes:

Catahoula Cur, Babilonia Wilner Foundation, CA, USA
Ray Smith, Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago
Roebling Hall Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Manuel Ojeda Gallery, Las Palmas, Gran Canarias, Spain
Aquarellen, Galerie Rob Jurka, Amsterdam, Holland
Time and Again. Pinturas y trabajos recientes de los 80's, Galeria Ramis Barquet, New York, USA
Cosmetologia Cosmica, Galería OMR, Mexico City
Argonutica, Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain
Argonautica, Thimoty Taylor Gallery, London, England
Ray Smith: Recent Paintings, Galeria Ramis Barquet, New York, NY, USA
Ray Smith, Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris, France
Galerie Lars Bohman, Stockholm, Sweden
ARCO 99, Stand Galeria Ramis Barquet, Madrid, Spain
The Battle of the Tailors, Mario Diacomo, Boston MA, USA
Ray Smith: Portaits of American Writes, Sperone Westwater, New York, NY, USA
Gallery Lars Bohman, Stockholm, Sweden
Ray Smith: recent paintings, The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
Ray Smith, 1995, Galerie Barbara Faber, Amsterdam, Holland
ARCO 94, Stand Galeria Ramis Barquet, Madrid, Spain
Ruth Bloom Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, USA
Gian Enzo Sperone, Roma, Italy
Art at the Edge: Ray Smith, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Encounters 4: Ray Smith, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, USA
Sculptures, Gallery Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
Ray Smith 93 Obra Reciente, Ex-convento de Santa Teresa la Antigua, Mexico
Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastrich, Holland
MARCO, Monterrey, Mexico
New Paintings, Galerie Barbara Faber, Amsterdam, Holland
Sperone Westwater, New York, NY, USA
New Paintings, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
Sculpture, Sperone Westwater, New York, NY, USA
Paraiso, Deleites Terrestres, Infierno, permanent installation at Crazy Eights, San Francisco, CA, USA
Mario Diacono Gallery, Boston, MA, USA
Galerie Folker Skulima, Berlin, Germany
Ray Smith, Galería OMR, Mexico City
Sperone Westwater, New York, NY, USA
Ray Smith: Wind Instruments, Editions Julie Sylvester, New York, NY, USA
Gian Enzo Sperone, Rome, Italy
New Paintings, Akira Ikeda Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
Currents: Ray Smith, The Institute of Contemporay Art, Boston, MA, USA
New Darwings, Akira Ikeda Gallery, Nagoya, Japan
Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich, Switzerland
Galeria de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City
Sperone Westwater, Feria Internacional de Chicago, IL, USA
New Prints, AC&T Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
Fernando Alcolea Barcelona, Spain
Lino Silverstein Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
Galleri Lars Bohman, Stockholm, Sweden
Galeria de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City
Mario Diacomo, Boston, MA, USA
Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, NY, USA
Gian Enzo Sperone, Rome, Italy
New Paintings, Akira Ikeda Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Recent Paintings, Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Ray Smith Yturria: Paintings/Drawings/Sculpture, @Portico, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Ray Smith: Drawings, @ Tower, New York, NY, USA


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