Alexis Smith

1949 · United States

Artist biography

Alexis Smith is an established contemporary visual artist, who originates from the United States. Alexis Smith was born in 1949. Born in the same country and around the same year are Chuck Close, Robert Mappelthorpe, Bruce Nauman, Laurie Andersen and Barbara Kruger.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Alexis Smith's work is available on display in several galleries recorded on Artland. Galleries include Cirrus Gallery and Craig Krull Gallery in Los Angeles, as well as Garth Greenan Gallery in New York. Alexis Smith's most recent exhibition recorded on Artland was at Garth Greenan Gallery in New York with the exhibition The Armory Show. The exhibition was open from 04 March 2020 until 08 March 2020. Alexis Smith's other most recent exhibitions listed on Artland include the exhibitions A Survey: 1973 - 2016 (25 October 2019 - 06 December 2019) at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery in the United States and Selected Works from the Collection of Holly Solomon 1968-1981, curated by Thomas Solomon (28 May 2019 - 28 June 2019) at Marlborough Contemporary | London in the United Kingdom. Alexis Smith's first recorded exhibition in Artland's database was called Frieze New York and took place at Garth Greenan Gallery in New York, the United States from the 30 April 2019 to 04 May 2019.

Historical Context of United States

The US, particularly New York city, remains as a focal point that has played a significant role in developing modern and contemporary art in the twentieth century. The concept of New York as a new multinational and highly influential art centre emerged in the post war era, and the city succeeded in asserting its supremacy over Paris, which used to be regarded as the most powerful international art centre.

The predominance of the political and economic structures of the United States in the modern sphere has granted the country with a powerful influence on the visual culture of the world. Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti and Street Art, are essential art movements that flourished in the United States. These very movements also echoed into a myriad of variations, such as alternative forms of Abstract Expressionism, as well as East and West Coast variants of Pop Art, among others. Some internationally acclaimed U.S artists of the contemporary period age include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

Further Biographical Context for Alexis Smith

Born in 1949, Alexis Smith's creative work was primarily influenced by the 1960s. Art turned into a vehicle for ideologies and other agendas, with Pop and Minimalism appearing concurrently as the most defining art movements of the decade. Pop Art in New York city embraced the culture of mass media and mass consumerism, with Artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann getting stimulated by television, comic strips, billboards and other products of the rise of Capitalism for their artworks. On the other side of the country, the West Coast in California, the first features of what would be known as Conceptual art were blossoming.

The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly sensational across the globe. Representative of a time inspiring both faith and anger, the 1960s triggered an outburst of new philosophies and movements, truly exciting and spectacular. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact internationally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and significantly marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing expectations on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The significant escalation of mass consumerism also defined the era, engendering new trends in marketing and advertising.

Minimalism established the crucial idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the physical world. Born of a desire to eradicate all pre-established conceptions about art, Minimalism became a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures.

Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to explore further some of the most fundamental ideologies of Abstract Expressionism, while getting rid of the expressive and highly personal aspect it would often associated with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply identifying with Minimalism.

Minimalism became influential through the works of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, while Pop art was a fundamental by-product of the latter, simultaneously critiquing and glorifying popular culture.

The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own nuances and scopes, particular to different regions or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Across Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism deeply influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who sought to portray the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the haunting angst of the meaninglessness of life.

Alexis Smith

  • Exhibitions 5

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