Anj Smith: Flowering of Phantoms

Anj Smith, High Blue Country, 2012, oil on linen, 14 1/4 x 11 inches (courtesy o
Anj Smith, High Blue Country, 2012, oil on linen, 14 1/4 x 11 inches (courtesy of Hauser & Wirth, New York)

Nadiah Fellah reviews the exhibition Anj Smith: The Flowering of Phantoms at Hauser & Wirth, New York, on view through February 23, 2012.

Fellah writes that Smith's "paintings are at once radical explorations of identity and sexuality, fused with a painting practice that has its roots in a fifteenth-century aesthetic and technique, a striking contrast that invigorates her work. All of the eleven paintings on view at Hauser & Wirth in New York are small, but painted in intricate detail. At times Smith’s brushstrokes are scarcely detectable as hairline traces across her canvases. In other instances her brushstrokes are not detectable at all, as she has seamlessly created porcelain complexions and diaphanous textiles using an oil technique only achieved by true painting masters. It takes the artist six to nine months to create each painting, but the complexity of each piece succeeds in creating scenes that are surreal and alluring, well worth her time-consuming efforts."