Whitney Museum of American Art
Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Dallas Museum of Art
Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute
Detroit Institute of Art
Houston Museum of Fine Art
Miami Art Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art, Milwaukee
Harn Museum of Art
Bass Art Museum
Bard College Center
Norton Gallery of Art
Siemens Kultur Stiftung
Chase Manhattan Bank
New York Public Library
Jason McCoy Gallery, New York, NY
Philip Smith’s pictographic work was first seen in the seminal Pictures Exhibition at Artists Space. Curated by Douglas Crimp,the show included Robert Longo, Sherrie Levine, Troy Brauntuch, Jack Goldstein and Philip Smith. These five artists established the movement that has become known as The Pictures Generation that now includes Cindy Sherman, RichardPrince, Laurie Simmons and others.
The curious and psychologically-charged images in Smith’s new paintings are drawn from found imagery in 1950s Cold War spy manuals, lingerie ads, books on mysticism and numerology, lost magic books and early genetic diagrams. Smith works the canvas like a physicist’s blackboard where he can postulate new image formulations and equations. The paintings are characterized by slightly visible erased imagery that serves as both memory and ghost- like images reminiscent of Smith’s childhood that was filled with séances and talking spirits. The result is a disorienting universe characteristic of Smith’s long association with both pop culture and metaphysical practices.
Smith’s work has been included in both the Whitney and Beijing Biennials and is in the permanent collection of the Whitney, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas Museum of Art, Miami Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Art, among others. Smith’s unusual life story has been captured in his memoir, WALKING THROUGH WALLS, published by Simon and Schuster. It is the true story of growing up with a father who discovers that he has supernatural powers and can talk to the dead and heal the sick. SHOWTIME has acquired the book for a weekly television series, now in development.
Courtesy of the artist’s website