Alexis Smith

An Embarrassment of Riches

March 21 – April 21, 2001

Solo exhibition

Lawrence Rubin·Greenberg Van Doren·Fine Art is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles artist Alexis Smith. Alexis Smith: An Embarrassment of Riches is on view from March 21 through April 21, 2001. This will be the artist’s first New York exhibition since her acclaimed mid-career survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1991, which subsequently traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

For the last 10 years Alexis Smith has worked on several large-scale commissions and projects, including permanent site specific installations at the University of California at San Diego (1992), The Los Angeles Convention Center (1993), The Restaurant at The Getty Center (1997), and Ohio State University (1999). The work featured in Alexis Smith: An Embarrassment of Riches, is an outgrowth of the installation Taste, in The Restaurant at the Getty Center. Her work is also currently included in A Way With Words at the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris (January – March 2001), and will be featured in Beau Monde / Site Santa Fe 2001, curated by Dave Hickey (July 2001 – January 2002).

While still in school, Alexis Smith chose the actress’ name to replace her given name, Patricia Anne. In the 30 year period since then, Smith has used collage and mixed media sculpture to generate modern observations and contemporary mythologies out of everyday materials. Newspaper clippings, magazine advertisements, fabric scraps, bric-a-brac, and other detritus are the primary components of Smith’s work. Her idiosyncratic collages combine equal bits of Hollywood, consumer culture, and found text to produce objects that speak eloquently about our everyday desires and longings. Forbidden Fruit, 2001, presents a beautiful young girl with parts of her face concealed by a silver spoon, a ‘fresh’ produce twist-tie, a strawberry iron-on patch, a glossy ‘Gourmet’ magazine cover, and the text ‘what sells is hope’. In this work – as with her oeuvre in general - glamour, nostalgia, humor, and the subject of taste are deftly delivered with wit and affection.

The exhibition will comprise of seventeen new works, all from 2001. Alexis Smith: An Embarrassment of Riches is accompanied by a fully illustrated color catalogue.