My characters embody multiple states of being as manifestations of hybridity and duality that simultaneously challenge heteronormative gender roles, allude to a divided self, and underscore the complex realities of humanity.
Gagosian is pleased to present Pretend Gravitas and Dream Aborted Givens, an exhibition of new works by Alexandria Smith at its Park & 75 location. Organized by Antwaun Sargent, this is Smith’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
In Pretend Gravitas and Dream Aborted Givens, Smith continues her investigation of selfhood alongside the confidences, contradictions, and uncertainties of the queer Black femme body through allegorical assemblage paintings and collage drawings housed in the artist’s custom frames.
Smith’s mixed-media works begin with drawings, which she develops intuitively within an ever-evolving personal cosmology. Atop colorful arrangements of bold shapes, she layers sculpted elements of painted wood and polymer clay that emerge beyond the picture plane, inspired by the pioneering assemblage artist Betye Saar, Black womanist literature, science fiction, and album art of the 1960s and ’70s.
Alexandria Smith Selects
Alexandria Smith has curated a selection of films that have influenced her practice for many years, as part of a series copresented by Gagosian and Metrograph. The program, on view in the theater and online from May 20 to June 2, 2022, features cinema exploring themes of loneliness through the prism of the fantastical, notions of family through spirituality, and the deconstruction of narrative through the disruption and manipulation of time.
The artist speaks with author Nalo Hopkinson about what it means to depict the body, the struggles to embark on new projects, and the contours of space and place in the creation of fiction and art.
Languorous undulations (in the temple of my familiar)
Alexandria Smith and Akwaeke Emezi take up themes of queerness, hybridity, and embodied memory in their respective visual and literary works. Here, Emezi responds to Smith’s painting Languorous undulations (in the temple of my familiar) (2022) with an eponymous piece of flash fiction.
Alexandria Smith Selects
May 20–June 2, 2022
Metrograph, New York
Alexandria Smith has curated a selection of films that have influenced her practice for many years, as part of a series copresented by Gagosian and Metrograph in the theater and online. The program will feature cinema exploring themes of loneliness through the prism of the fantastical; notions of family through spirituality; and the deconstruction of narrative through the disruption and manipulation of time.
Still from Daughters of the Dust (1991), directed by Julie Dash