Emily Mae Smith, the first standalone volume of the artist’s work, provides a panoramic view of Smith’s playful, illusionistic, and deeply intelligent oeuvre.
For the past fifteen years, Emily Mae Smith has brought her lush, humorous, and highly stylized sensibility to bear in one visually stunning canvas after another, artfully blending a Surrealist spirit with the flair of Pop Art and her own feminist aesthetic. Emily Mae Smith, the first standalone volume of the artist’s work, provides a panoramic view of Smith’s playful, illusionistic, and deeply intelligent oeuvre. With more than 250 illustrated pages, boasting over 150 full-color reproductions that bring Smith’s crisp and exquisitely detailed paintings to life, the book takes a close look at her career to date.
Emily Mae Smith’s images are supported by text contributions from Suzanne Hudson, Gabriela Rangel, and Jenni Sorkin that contextualize Smith’s work and practice and illuminate her engagement with contemporary subjects like gender, violence, and capitalism — all the while providing analyses of important compositions like her anthropomorphic broom series. Smith’s sly figurations are perhaps best exemplified by this fey avatar, serving at once as a visual referent for the painter’s brush, an emblem of women’s domestic labor, and a playful embodiment of phallic forces. Emily Mae Smith takes readers on a journey through the artist’s ferociously idiosyncratic vision, providing insight into one of the most startling and original bodies of work in contemporary art.
Publisher: Petzel Gallery, 2022
Hardcover: 240 pages
Dimensions: 8.25 x 0.63 x 11.63 inches
About the artist
Emily Mae Smith (b. 1979, Austin, Texas)
Emily Mae Smith’s sly, humorous, and riveting compositions nod to art historical movements such as Symbolism and Art Nouveau, though with a distinctly 21st century spin. Her genre-defying paintings speak through a vocabulary of signs and symbols addressing timely subjects including gender, class, and violence. Smith’s paintings tackle art history’s phallocentric myths and create imagery for subjectivities absent in visual culture, specifically the feminist perspective.
Emily Mae Smith was born in 1979 in Austin, Texas. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include: Galerie Perrotin, Paris (2021); Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium (2021); Simone Subal Gallery, New York, NY (2020, 2017); SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2020); Marion Art Gallery, Rockefeller Arts Center, SUNY Fredonia, NY (2020); Galerie Perrotin, Tokyo (2019); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT (2019); Le Consortium Museum, Dijon, France (2018); Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin (2018); Galerie Perrotin (with Genesis Belanger), New York, NY (2018); SALTS (with Adam Henry), Basel, Switzerland (2017); Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium (2016); Mary Mary, Glasgow, Scotland (2016); and Laurel Gitlen, New York, NY (2015). Select group exhibitions include: The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2022); The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA (2022); 58th October Salon, Belgrade Biennale, Belgrade, Serbia (2021); Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH (2021); Arsenal Contemporary, New York, NY (2021); Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH (2020); Public Art Fund, New York, NY (2020); Petzel Gallery, New York, NY (2020); Hauser & Wirth, New York, NY (2019); Arsenal art contemporain, Montreal, Canada (2019); Gio Marconi, Milan, Italy (2019); Peter Freeman Inc., New York, NY (2018); Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, NY (2018); Lumber Room, Portland, OR (2017); König Galerie, Berlin, Germany (2016); The Moore Building, Miami, FL (2015); and Skirball Museum, Cincinnati, OH (2014).
Smith’s work is included in collections such as Arsenal Contemporary, Montreal, Canada; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; The Consortium Museum, Dijon, France; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; MOCA Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA; Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany; Powerlong Art Museum, Shanghai, China; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Zuzeum Art Centre, Riga, Latvia.