Joshua Smith on Josh Smith

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Joshua Smith reflects on the recent paintings of Josh Smith on view in two concurrent exhibitions at Luhring Augustine's Chelsea and Bushwick locations.

Smith writes "my hunch is that [Smith's] making his monochromes—and picking those colors, working with such ostensible swiftness, producing at such a remarkable quantity—because to him filling up a given space to capacity with his art, like he’s stocking a Uniqlo, is interesting, and it’s funny because it’s pointedly un-precious and it pokes at the implied exclusivity of the art world. He is, in many ways, an extremely populist artist, in large part due to the extreme abundance of his output. He produces content the way we prefer to consume it now: gluttonously… When there is an abundance of information that we don’t even hope to process, when experiences are selected and repeated to be experienced with continually diminishing returns, and when we’ve ceased to expect something like profundity in an art gallery, let alone, say, joy. What we’ve come to expect of recent paintings is to see them used as props in essentially performative practices. Which is fine. As I said, we all make monochromes, and art, for our own reasons. But my sense is that viewers have been asked to expect much less of our paintings and our art, and to regard both with far less patience and care than we might have in the past."

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