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Alexandria Smith

Alexandria Smith, The Lumens, 2022 Mixed media on three-dimensional wood assemblage, 60 × 48 inches (152.4 × 121.9 cm)© Alexandria Smith. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Alexandria Smith, The Lumens, 2022

Mixed media on three-dimensional wood assemblage, 60 × 48 inches (152.4 × 121.9 cm)
© Alexandria Smith. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

About

My role is a testament to the hybridity and duality of cultures, the juxtaposition of states—challenging genders, guiding perceptions of the divisiveness of the self, and emphasizing the complexities of human nature.
—Alexandria Smith

Alexandria Smith’s art addresses issues of identity as informed by autobiography, fiction, myth, collective memory, and history. Combining figuration and abstraction, her works imagine hybrid figures comprised of limbs, eyes, breasts, and hair in distinctive configurations that embody physical, emotional, and metaphysical growth and transformation. Smith works across various mediums, making drawings with collage elements, paintings with sculptural assemblages, and immersive installations.

Smith was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1981. She earned her BFA in illustration from Syracuse University, New York; MA in art education from New York University; and MFA from Parsons School of Design, New School, New York. From 2017 through 2018 she served as co-organizer of the collective Black Women Artists for Black Lives. She lives and works in New York and London, where she heads the painting program at the Royal College of Art.

As a recipient of the 2018–19 Queens Museum/Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artists, Smith created Monuments to an Effigy (2019), an installation inspired by her research into the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground and the Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal Church in Flushing, Queens—a historic hub of the African American community. The installation commemorates both the lives of anonymous Black and Indigenous women interred at these sites and those who were part of Flushing’s Underground Railroad network. Featuring paintings, sculptures, columns, and pews, Monuments to an Effigy was accompanied by At Council; Found Peace, a musical composition written by Liz Gre in collaboration with Smith.

In 2022, Smith had her first solo exhibition at Gagosian, New York, Pretend Gravitas and Dream Aborted Givens. The collage drawings and assemblage paintings on view reimagine lived experiences through nonlinear narrative threads. These multidimensional works envision figures affected by elemental forces across interconnected primordial landscapes. Also in 2022, she installed Memoirs of a Ghost Girlhood: a Black Girl’s Window at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire. Based in part on the artist’s research into Black history in the state, this multimedia environment incorporates wallpaper, paintings, found objects, and sculpture, with an original site-specific sound composition by Gre.

Alexandria Smith

Photo: Amoroso Films

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Photo: Ollie Adegboye

Artist Spotlight

Alexandria Smith

January 25–31, 2023

Alexandria Smith’s art addresses issues of identity as informed by autobiography, fiction, myth, collective memory, and history. She depicts metaphysical beings in primordial settings who embody states of growth and transformation. Her interest in hybridity and experimentation encompasses drawings with collage elements, paintings with sculptural assemblage, and immersive installations. Smith builds up dimensional components in her painted works, recently further articulating their surfaces through the incorporation of 3D-printed parts.

Photo: Ollie Adegboye

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Gerhard Richter; © Amoako Boafo; © Richard Prince; © 2022 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation; © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Stanley Whitney. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Art Fair

Art Basel Miami Beach 2022

December 1–3, 2022, booth D5
Miami Beach Convention Center
artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to present a selection of modern and contemporary works at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. Returning to Miami for the fair’s twentieth anniversary, the gallery is honored to have participated each year the fair has been held.

Gagosian’s booth at Art Basel Miami Beach 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Gerhard Richter; © Amoako Boafo; © Richard Prince; © 2022 Judd Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Richard Diebenkorn Foundation; © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; © Stanley Whitney. Photo: Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Gagosian’s booth at West Bund Art & Design 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Adam McEwen, © Roe Ethridge, © Alex Israel, © Harmony Korine. Photo: JJYPHOTO

Art Fair

West Bund Art & Design 2022

November 11–13, 2022, booth A102
West Bund Art Center, Shanghai
westbundshanghai.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in the ninth edition of West Bund Art & Design. The gallery will present new works made for the fair by Georg Baselitz, Roe Ethridge, Thomas Houseago, Alex Israel, Harmony Korine, Adam McEwen, Jim Shaw, Alexandria Smith, Spencer Sweeney, and Tatiana Trouvé, alongside works by Ashley Bickerton, Urs Fischer, Katharina Grosse, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Nam June Paik, Richard Prince, Ugo Rondinone, Ed Ruscha, Richard Wright, and Zeng Fanzhi.

Gagosian’s booth at West Bund Art & Design 2022. Artwork, left to right: © Adam McEwen, © Roe Ethridge, © Alex Israel, © Harmony Korine. Photo: JJYPHOTO

See all News for Alexandria Smith

Museum Exhibitions

Alexandria Smith, The grounded makes the spirited away, 2022 (detail) © Alexandria Smith

On View

Alexandria Smith and Liz Gre
Memoirs of a Ghost Girlhood: A Black Girl’s Window

Through Spring 2023
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire
currier.org

Alexandria Smith has created an immersive multimedia environment incorporating wallpaper, paintings on wood, found objects, and sculpture, which is accompanied by an original site-specific sound composition by Liz Gre. Smith’s work explores Black identity through the interweaving of collective memory, autobiography, and history. Smith and Gre researched Black history in New Hampshire and visited the Portsmouth African Burying Ground, among other spiritually significant sites. Gre’s sound piece, //windowed//, re-creates the sonic environments of Manchester and Portsmouth. It will evolve over time to include recordings from visitors in response to the installation.

Alexandria Smith, The grounded makes the spirited away, 2022 (detail) © Alexandria Smith

Installation view, Alexandria Smith: Seed to Harvest, Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Massachusetts, September 1, 2019–June 5, 2022. Artwork © Alexandria Smith

Closed

Alexandria Smith
Seed to Harvest

September 1, 2019–June 5, 2022
Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Massachusetts
www.wellesley.edu

In this exhibition, Alexandria Smith’s visual symbology embellishes original photographic portraits commemorating some of the first Black graduates of Wellesley College. Smith, formerly assistant professor of painting at Wellesley (2016–19), highlights narratives from the graduates’ lives and memorializes their important contributions to the college and to the world. The show was commissioned by the Davis Museum’s Windows Invitational, which invites artists to transform the floor-to-ceiling windows of the museum’s lobby and courtyard plaza.

Installation view, Alexandria Smith: Seed to Harvest, Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Massachusetts, September 1, 2019–June 5, 2022. Artwork © Alexandria Smith

Installation view, Alexandria Smith: Monuments to an Effigy, Queens Museum, New York, April 7–August 18, 2019. Artwork © Alexandria Smith. Photo: Hai Zhang, courtesy Queens Museum

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Alexandria Smith
Monuments to an Effigy

April 7–August 18, 2019
Queens Museum, New York
queensmuseum.org

Monuments to an Effigy takes the histories of the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground and the Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal Church in Flushing, Queens, as points of departure for an exhibition that evokes an altar or commemorative space. In her work, Alexandria Smith explores narrative, memory, and myth through the lens of the Black female form and psyche. Rectifying stories that have been erased, in this exhibition, she honors the unnamed women laid to rest at the Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground (only men were named on the four marked gravestones found there) and those who participated in the Underground Railroad network in Flushing, which included the Macedonia AME Church.

Installation view, Alexandria Smith: Monuments to an Effigy, Queens Museum, New York, April 7–August 18, 2019. Artwork © Alexandria Smith. Photo: Hai Zhang, courtesy Queens Museum

Alexandria Smith, The Nocturnes, 2017 © Alexandria Smith

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Alexandria Smith
A Litany for Survival

November 8, 2018–January 27, 2019
BU Art Galleries, Boston University
www.bu.edu

A Litany for Survival is an installation of recent figure-based paintings and drawings by Alexandria Smith. Exploring Black female subjectivity, Smith’s tonally rich canvases often centralize pairs of figures that reside within environments that are subtly political and, at times, intentionally nondescript. Depicted in profile, the figures are simultaneously mirror images and twins. Through these painterly acts of doubling, Smith embodies multiple states of being, while also exploring concepts of hybridity and duality.

Alexandria Smith, The Nocturnes, 2017 © Alexandria Smith