Keith Smith

April 18 - June 1, 2013
Exhibition Views Thumbnail View
Selected Works Thumbnail View
Untitled, c. 1973 Photograph with stitching and pencil drawing mounted to paper. 19 1/4 x 16 1/2 inchesUntitled, c. 1973 Photograph with stitching and pencil drawing mounted to paper. 19 1/4 x 16 1/2 inches

Untitled, c. 1973

Photograph with stitching and pencil drawing mounted to paper. 19 1/4 x 16 1/2 inches

Disintegrating Figure, 1966 Photo-etching with drypoint. 4 x 3 inchesDisintegrating Figure, 1966 Photo-etching with drypoint. 4 x 3 inches

Disintegrating Figure, 1966

Photo-etching with drypoint. 4 x 3 inches

Emerging Image, Portrait of the Artist, 1965 Print emulsion with drypoint on etching paper. 11 3/4 x 16 3/4 inchesEmerging Image, Portrait of the Artist, 1965 Print emulsion with drypoint on etching paper. 11 3/4 x 16 3/4 inches

Emerging Image, Portrait of the Artist, 1965

Print emulsion with drypoint on etching paper. 11 3/4 x 16 3/4 inches

Self Portrait Taken in a New York Subway Booth, 1973 Gelatin silver print mounted to board with string and hand-painting. 4 3/4 x 3 3/4 inchesSelf Portrait Taken in a New York Subway Booth, 1973 Gelatin silver print mounted to board with string and hand-painting. 4 3/4 x 3 3/4 inches

Self Portrait Taken in a New York Subway Booth, 1973

Gelatin silver print mounted to board with string and hand-painting. 4 3/4 x 3 3/4 inches

"Hey... Just Me and EW!", 1973 Photo-collage with sitching. 7 x 5 1/2 inches"Hey... Just Me and EW!", 1973 Photo-collage with sitching. 7 x 5 1/2 inches

"Hey... Just Me and EW!", 1973

Photo-collage with sitching. 7 x 5 1/2 inches

Figure in a Landscape, 2nd State, 1966  Print emulsion with drypoint. 8 7/8 x 11 7/8 inchesFigure in a Landscape, 2nd State, 1966  Print emulsion with drypoint. 8 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches

Figure in a Landscape, 2nd State, 1966 

Print emulsion with drypoint. 8 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches

Multiple Exposure with Remark (a la Picasso Etching), 1966 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1966.  9 1/2 x 7 1/2 inchesMultiple Exposure with Remark (a la Picasso Etching), 1966 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1966.  9 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches

Multiple Exposure with Remark (a la Picasso Etching), 1966

Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1966.  9 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches

Untitled, c. 1966 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1966. 2 1/2 x 13 5/8 inchesUntitled, c. 1966 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1966. 2 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches

Untitled, c. 1966

Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1966. 2 1/2 x 13 5/8 inches

Self Portrait, 1967    Photo-etching à la poupée. 6 x 9 inchesSelf Portrait, 1967    Photo-etching à la poupée. 6 x 9 inches

Self Portrait, 1967   

Photo-etching à la poupée. 6 x 9 inches

Untitled, 1971    3M Color-in-Color print on fabric with 8mm film and stitching. 11 3/4 x 13 1/2 inchesUntitled, 1971    3M Color-in-Color print on fabric with 8mm film and stitching. 11 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches

Untitled, 1971   

3M Color-in-Color print on fabric with 8mm film and stitching. 11 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches

Self Portrait, 1965   Gelatin silver contact print with hand coloring, printed c. 1965.  13 7/8 x 10 7/8 inchesSelf Portrait, 1965   Gelatin silver contact print with hand coloring, printed c. 1965.  13 7/8 x 10 7/8 inches

Self Portrait, 1965  

Gelatin silver contact print with hand coloring, printed c. 1965.  13 7/8 x 10 7/8 inches

Photobooth, 1965   Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1965. 8 x 1 5/8 inchesPhotobooth, 1965   Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1965. 8 x 1 5/8 inches

Photobooth, 1965  

Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1965. 8 x 1 5/8 inches

Silent Room III Emptiness, 1966   Print emulsion with drawing on etching paper.  6 x 8 1/4 inchesSilent Room III Emptiness, 1966   Print emulsion with drawing on etching paper.  6 x 8 1/4 inches

Silent Room III Emptiness, 1966  

Print emulsion with drawing on etching paper.  6 x 8 1/4 inches

Portrait of Gary, 1968    Multiple exposure contact print on sheet film, printed c. 1968.  11 1/4 x 8 3/8 inchesPortrait of Gary, 1968    Multiple exposure contact print on sheet film, printed c. 1968.  11 1/4 x 8 3/8 inches

Portrait of Gary, 1968   

Multiple exposure contact print on sheet film, printed c. 1968.  11 1/4 x 8 3/8 inches

Alan Undressing, 1977    Photo-etching with drypoint.  7 x 5 inchesAlan Undressing, 1977    Photo-etching with drypoint.  7 x 5 inches

Alan Undressing, 1977   

Photo-etching with drypoint.  7 x 5 inches

Alan Undressing, 1978   Gelatin silver print with sheet film and stitching, printed c. 1978.  7 1/8 x 4 7/8 inchesAlan Undressing, 1978   Gelatin silver print with sheet film and stitching, printed c. 1978.  7 1/8 x 4 7/8 inches

Alan Undressing, 1978  

Gelatin silver print with sheet film and stitching, printed c. 1978.  7 1/8 x 4 7/8 inches

Alan Undressing, 1982   Photo-etching with hand-coloring and drypoint.  8 x 6 inchesAlan Undressing, 1982   Photo-etching with hand-coloring and drypoint.  8 x 6 inches

Alan Undressing, 1982  

Photo-etching with hand-coloring and drypoint.  8 x 6 inches

Untitled, 1978    Silkscreen monoprint with half-tone, hand-drawing, and stitching. 19 7/8 x 15 7/8 inchesUntitled, 1978    Silkscreen monoprint with half-tone, hand-drawing, and stitching. 19 7/8 x 15 7/8 inches

Untitled, 1978   

Silkscreen monoprint with half-tone, hand-drawing, and stitching. 19 7/8 x 15 7/8 inches

Untitled, 1967   Gelatin silver print, watercolor and sheet film printed c. 1967.  12 1/4 x 2 7/8 inchesUntitled, 1967   Gelatin silver print, watercolor and sheet film printed c. 1967.  12 1/4 x 2 7/8 inches

Untitled, 1967  

Gelatin silver print, watercolor and sheet film printed c. 1967.  12 1/4 x 2 7/8 inches

My Mother Opening a Door, 1966   Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1966.  2 1/4 x 12 3/8 inchesMy Mother Opening a Door, 1966   Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1966.  2 1/4 x 12 3/8 inches

My Mother Opening a Door, 1966  

Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1966.  2 1/4 x 12 3/8 inches

5:59 pm, March 26, 1968   Photo-collage. 9 7/8 x 8 inches5:59 pm, March 26, 1968   Photo-collage. 9 7/8 x 8 inches

5:59 pm, March 26, 1968  

Photo-collage. 9 7/8 x 8 inches

Study #3 from the Book Prismatic Light, 1977   Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1977. 13 x 8 5/8 inchesStudy #3 from the Book Prismatic Light, 1977   Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1977. 13 x 8 5/8 inches

Study #3 from the Book Prismatic Light, 1977  

Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1977. 13 x 8 5/8 inches

Aatis Lillstrom, 1965   Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1965. 10 x 8 inchesAatis Lillstrom, 1965   Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1965. 10 x 8 inches

Aatis Lillstrom, 1965  

Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1965. 10 x 8 inches

The Night Creature, 1972   Mezzotint and drypoint with handcoloring. 14 3/4 x 12 7/8 inchesThe Night Creature, 1972   Mezzotint and drypoint with handcoloring. 14 3/4 x 12 7/8 inches

The Night Creature, 1972  

Mezzotint and drypoint with handcoloring. 14 3/4 x 12 7/8 inches

The Silence of a Scream, 1965   Print emulsion and drypoint on etching paper. 7 3/4 x 11 3/4 inchesThe Silence of a Scream, 1965   Print emulsion and drypoint on etching paper. 7 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches

The Silence of a Scream, 1965  

Print emulsion and drypoint on etching paper. 7 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches

Untitled, 1966 Gelatin silver print of 8mm film, printed c. 1966.  9 7/8 x 7 7/8 inchesUntitled, 1966 Gelatin silver print of 8mm film, printed c. 1966.  9 7/8 x 7 7/8 inches

Untitled, 1966

Gelatin silver print of 8mm film, printed c. 1966.  9 7/8 x 7 7/8 inches

1971 for Book 22, c. 1971 Photo-collage with hand-stitching. 14 x 11 inches1971 for Book 22, c. 1971 Photo-collage with hand-stitching. 14 x 11 inches

1971 for Book 22, c. 1971

Photo-collage with hand-stitching. 14 x 11 inches

After Thought of Book 3, Frontrunner of a page in Book 11, 1968   Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1968. 10 x 8 inchesAfter Thought of Book 3, Frontrunner of a page in Book 11, 1968   Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1968. 10 x 8 inches

After Thought of Book 3, Frontrunner of a page in Book 11, 1968  

Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1968. 10 x 8 inches

Bus, 1968   Gelatin silver print of 8mm film, printed c. 1968. 8 1/2 x 7 1/2 inchesBus, 1968   Gelatin silver print of 8mm film, printed c. 1968. 8 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches

Bus, 1968  

Gelatin silver print of 8mm film, printed c. 1968. 8 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches

Approaching El Train, 1966   Gelatin silver print of 8mm film, printed c. 1966.  8 1/2 x 1 inchesApproaching El Train, 1966   Gelatin silver print of 8mm film, printed c. 1966.  8 1/2 x 1 inches

Approaching El Train, 1966  

Gelatin silver print of 8mm film, printed c. 1966.  8 1/2 x 1 inches

Untitled, 1980   Gelatin silver print with handcoloring, dry mounted to paper.  14 3/8 x 9 1/8 inUntitled, 1980   Gelatin silver print with handcoloring, dry mounted to paper.  14 3/8 x 9 1/8 in

Untitled, 1980  

Gelatin silver print with handcoloring, dry mounted to paper.  14 3/8 x 9 1/8 in

Untitled, 1973   Edwal toners on gelatin silver print.  19 7/8 x 15 7/8 inchesUntitled, 1973   Edwal toners on gelatin silver print.  19 7/8 x 15 7/8 inches

Untitled, 1973  

Edwal toners on gelatin silver print.  19 7/8 x 15 7/8 inches

Temporary Tattoo, 1978   Gelatin silver print with stitching and hand coloring.  6 x 5 1/4 inchesTemporary Tattoo, 1978   Gelatin silver print with stitching and hand coloring.  6 x 5 1/4 inches

Temporary Tattoo, 1978  

Gelatin silver print with stitching and hand coloring.  6 x 5 1/4 inches

My Mother Turning Off a Light, 1966   Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1966.  14 1/4 x 10 1/2 inchesMy Mother Turning Off a Light, 1966   Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1966.  14 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches

My Mother Turning Off a Light, 1966  

Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1966.  14 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches

Press Release

Bruce Silverstein is pleased to present the gallery’s second solo show with the artist Keith Smith.  Following a retrospective of Smith’s artist’s books, this comprehensive exhibition is comprised of Smith’s earliest photographic-based works from his years at the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as prints and collages made in the 1960s-80s that combine drawing, stitching and painting.  Smith, of his own volition, has never aggressively sought attention for his work, which makes this exhibition a rare opportunity to view a number of pieces that have never been shown.

 

By examining such a large group of Smith’s works, the artist’s love of repetition immediately becomes apparent.  Smith constantly reuses his source imagery in various forms and formats in a manner similar to jazz music, which he is particularly fond of—the repeating elements are never quite the same. Interestingly, for an artist who has been working for over 40 years, his original source photographs are few—those images used over and over in his collages, prints, etchings, drawings and books.  There are only a handful of pictures of individuals and events that Smith works with again and again, changing and evolving the original moment via different processes and techniques. Certain themes and motifs recur frequently—the human ear, the artist’s self-portrait, his home—but the most provocative are the altered photographs of the men Smith has loved or desired, an opportunity to express that which the artist potentially could not do in person.  

 


Perhaps his making very few straight photographs over the years points to the “problem” categorizing Smith’s work, something those in the art world have struggled with from the time he was a student in the photography department at the Art Institute.  Taking a non-purist approach to the medium has placed Smith on the boundaries of photography and printmaking.  While the widely respected photography curator John Szarkowski included Smith’s photo-etching, Figure in a Landscape, 1966 in the seminal exhibition and catalogue Mirrors and Windows, 1978, Smith did not follow the course of the other included artists who are now well known primarily as photographers.  Rather, Smith turned to printmaking, collage and bookmaking—layering, sewing, painting and drawing on his photographs.  What is important to note, is that it is exactly this free and irreverent approach to the photographic medium that continues to make Smith’s images so remarkably engaging, bold, and exciting. 


Smith (b.1938) has taught at the Visual Studies Workshop, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois.  He is a recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships, a National Endowment of the Arts grant, and a Pollock/Krasner Foundation grant.

 

Smith’s work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Center of Creative Photography, University of Arizona; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London among others. Smith has authored nine books on bookmaking, among them; 200 Books, An Annotated Bibliography, published by Keith Smith BOOKS, First Edition, May 2000; Books without Paste or Glue, Non-Adhesive Binding Volume I, The Sigma Foundation, Inc., 1991; and Structure of the Visual Book, First Edition, The Sigma Foundation, 1984.