Josh Smith’s painting is almost impossible to consider in just a few works. It often takes multiple panels to get a sense of the volume of his production, his frenzied creative energies, and his kitchen sink approach to painting. Smith employs printed imagery, painted gestures, and his famous signature using a myriad of techniques. Clearly in a lineage of artists like Christopher Wool and Albert Oehlen, Smith uses the momentum of creation and an unbridled sense of activity to produce work in vast amounts, filling galleries with a cumulative body of painting that can be both overwhelming and dazzling in its collected effect.
Venice Set, 2011, is a massive series of thirty-two panels, stretching over forty feet. In the work, Smith employs all of his effects, mixing printed material with gestures and signatures. Sometimes the gestures and signatures are then copied, printed by machine, and used again, putting the artist’s touch in direct contact with its reproduced mirror image. Venice Set is a confident, audacious effort that debuted to international art world acclaim at the 2011 Venice Biennial. Smith has also been featured in Younger than Jesus at New York’s New Museum in 2009, in a solo presentation at the Brant Foundation in Connecticut in 2011, and in the 2012 show The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.