In Josh Smith's new double exhibition at both Luhring Augustine galleries, the artist takes bold colors to sobering and eerie places. In Chelsea, Smith reworks hues like "Pepto Pink" and "Bondo Red" into gestural painterly expressions: up close, the potentially clinical study reveals the wild hand of the painter, and you can clearly see the creamy brushstrokes that compose the colorful surfaces. "Lemon Yellow" doesn't appear quite as cheery as its name might suggest; "Brown" gets messy and almost grotesque.
In the Chelsea show, it appears that Smith is exploring ways of revealing personality through the usually rigid format of the monochrome. Amusingly, the artist has said the inspiration for the show was that he wanted a monochrome painting but couldn't afford one by the best-known practitioners, so he painted his own.
In Bushwick, on the other hand, untitled postcard-like images of beaches get an unnerving twist, with psychedelic oranges, blues, and pinks flashing out behind spindly silhouettes of palm trees. The swirling sunset scenes in Brooklyn serve as interesting counterpoint to the Manhattan show; together they offer a broad look at the often ironic artist's new experiments with color on canvas. The Bushwick show runs from Sept. 12 to Oct. 26; the Chelsea show will up from Sept. 13 through Oct. 19.
To view photos of the exhibitions, click the slide show above.