About This Artwork
The enormous size of Venice Set, thirty cardboard panels, is indicative of Josh Smith’s rapid-fire painting process. He often makes dozens of paintings a day, obsessively filling his studio. Smith’s work is best read within the totality of the artist’s output. Human, animal, and plant images accumulate and repeat in varying configurations. As Smith multiplies and expands these motifs, the images lose their specific meanings and become an escalating index of forms ready to be recycled. Smith employs printed and painted gestures, or he copies his famous signature using a myriad of techniques. The artist’s contemporary paintings feature images and abstract elements found earlier in Smith’s career; each piece is a record and redeployment of what came before. For Smith, the very idea of the production is the work.