Skarstedt Uptown Presents Lucien Smith's TIGRIS Exhibition, Now thru 6/27

Skarstedt Uptown Presents Lucien Smith's TIGRIS Exhibition, Now thru 6/27

Skarstedt presents the gallery's first exhibition of Lucien Smith, premiering his newest body of work, Tigris, in New York. The exhibition will feature 11 large-scale paintings from Smith's most recent series and will be on view at Skarstedt (20 East 79th Street) from today, May 15 - June 27, 2014.

In Tigris, Smith explores themes inspired by the recollection of the first work of art that strongly impacted him-Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa-a poster reproduction of which hung on the wall of his classroom. His new works speak to the concealment, or camouflage, of memories. In Freudian terms, Smith's paintings explore the idea of a 'screen memory'-a memory unconsciously used to repress an associated event, camouflaging its deeper content by displacement. Smith's work often investigates nostalgia and how the imagination can create false memories and convolute events of the past. As with much of Smith's previous work, this new series explores memories of the natural world through the process of abstraction.

Named after an ancient body of water, the works in Tigris convey an organic sensibility. Smith's process of pouring paint onto the canvas is reminiscent of pouring water, evoking the movement of rivers and rain. Smith often takes inspiration from nature, as represented in the fluid, flowing style of his latest paintings. His layered washes of paint and loose brushstrokes possess a particularly painterly feel. Also referencing the "Tiger Stripe" camouflage patterns developed by the South Vietnamese for their soldiers in the 1960s, Smith utilizes multilayered die-cut stencils scanned from a United States military sourcebook, recreating authentic military patterns through color-field painting techniques.

Drawing comparisons to the work of his Abstract Expressionist predecessors, Tigris is demonstrative of Smith's awareness of art historical past, yet interpreted through his own filter. Smith's latest body of work recalls Andy Warhol's camouflage paintings and the veil paintings of Morris Louis. As David Rimanelli writes in the catalogue essay, "through this cumulative blending of signifiers from Asian, American, and European histories, Smith's work embeds culturally and psychologically loaded topics within a formal language of painting and design." Smith's work harkens back to previous generations, representing canonical ideas through a contemporary lens.

Born in Los Angeles, California in 1989, Lucien Smith received his BFA from Cooper Union in New York. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. Recent exhibitions include Salon 94, The Susan Geiss Company, and Half Gallery in New York, OHWOW Gallery in Los Angeles, and Brand New Gallery in Milan.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, with an essay by David Rimanelli.

About Skarstedt: Skarstedt (20 E. 79th Street, New York, NY) was founded in 1994 by Per Skarstedt to mount historical exhibitions by Contemporary European and American artists that had become the core of his specialty in Sweden and New York in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The New York gallery's program focuses on artists of the late Twentieth Century whose work explores concepts such as representation, authorship, identity, and sexual politics across a wide-range of media. Skarstedt's unique relationship with artists allows it to present exhibitions both on the primary and secondary markets, creating a dialogue between the generations.

Skarstedt (550 W. 21st Street, New York, NY) opens May 8, 2014 in the heart of Chelsea, adding to the gallery's existing locations on New York's Upper East Side and in London. The additional gallery space enables Skarstedt to expand on its core program of museum-quality, historically researched exhibitions from modern and contemporary masters.

Skarstedt opened its London space at 23 Old Bond Street in 2012 with the inaugural exhibition Andy Warhol: The American Indian. Skarstedt London presents exhibitions and publications devoted to the gallery's established area of expertise while also seeking to evolve and expand its focus. Skarstedt is committed to sharing both its aesthetic perspective and philosophical approach through high-quality exhibitions and collaborations with top international museums and private collections.

The gallery works with the following artists and artists' estates: Francis Bacon, John Baldessari, Georg Baselitz, George Condo, Carroll Dunham, Eric Fischl, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Lucio Fontana, Gu?nther Fo?rg, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Mike Kelley, Martin Kippenberger, Yves Klein, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Robert Mapplethorpe, Juan Mun?oz, Cady Noland, Albert Oehlen, Richard Prince, David Salle, Thomas Schu?tte, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, Andy Warhol, Franz West and Christopher Wool.

Pictured: Lucien Smith, Over my dead body, 2014, Oil on canvas, 96 x 73 inches. Courtesy Skarstedt, New York. © Lucien Smith.