Nina Johnson presents Ray Smith Studio, an exhibition organized by Emmett Moore featuring a series of works produced by Ray Smith in his Brooklyn studio between 2007 - 2012. This period in Ray’s career is defined by inclusivity and collaboration, specifically as it relates to a series of works created alongside his then assistants, Nik Gelormino, and brothers Eamon and Keegan Monaghan.
Ray Smith’s work is as enigmatic as he is. Born in Texas and raised in Mexico, Ray is a Spanish-speaking New Yorker, with the air of a Texas cattle rancher. His work draws from Spanish Modernists and Surrealists, and materializes in a variety of media, often through a stream of consciousness approach. Smith is a painter, sculptor, installation artist and social experimenter. Critical to his process are the social gatherings that create the collaborative context for producing work. This dynamic was particularly relevant in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and took the momentum and energy needed to fuel this multi-faceted practice with it.
Ray Smith Studio features a series of 29 ‘exquisite corpse’ paintings produced by Ray, Nik, Eamon and Keegan. This process was famously used by André Breton and the Surrealists, though it originally hails from a 19th century parlor game. The paintings depict fragmented and seamed figures, often shown in distorted poses, possessing caricature-like qualities. Also on view is a Table Drawing from the same period. The final work produced for the show, is a wood sculpture created in Miami by Ray and Emmett.
About Ray Smith
Ray Smith was born in Brownsville, Texas. He lives and works in both New York City and Cuernavaca, Mexico. His inimitable style and subject matter reflects his bi-cultural American and Mexican heritage, his early studies of fresco painting with traditional practitioners in Mexico, and an indebtedness to Picasso, the Surrealists, and the politically daring Mexican muralists. Smith reflects upon the complexities and absurdities of society, family, politics, culture, war, and the human condition itself, framed by birth and death. Ray has exhibited worldwide, and can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of American Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, NY; Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporáneo, México DF, México; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL.
About Nina Johnson
Nina Johnson is a contemporary art space in Miami, Florida. Opened as Gallery Diet in 2007, the gallery has produced exhibitions by emerging and established artists from around the world.