Jack Smith @Gladstone Gallery.

Jack Smith
“Thanks for Explaining Me”

Curated by Neville Wakefield
515 West 24th Street
May 6 – June 16, 2011

Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce our first exhibition of works by Jack Smith. Following his arrival in New York in 1953, Smith became one of the most influential members of the American avant-garde and a central figure in the cultural history of the film, performance, and art of downtown New York.Curated by Neville Wakefield, this exhibition will present 12 recently restored films as well as a selection of drawings, collages, never before seen color photographs, black and white photographs, and two seminal slide shows. Three collaborative works will also be on view, in which artists Ryan McNamara, A.L. Steiner, and T.J. Wilcox appropriate heretofore unseen Jack Smith film material to create contemporary meditations on Smith’s fascinating life and work. Wakefield has conceived of his curatorial endeavor as a tributary approach to Smith’s creative practice and panoptic production, writing:”More than almost any artist of the last century Jack Smith understood that within the prevailing cultures of success, art’s greatest role may have been to provide provision for public failure. To this end his actors and accomplices, props and lighting, drugs and desires were invariably wrong: wrong before the performance had started – before even the lights had gone down. The marathon of tourettic revisions, false starts and delays signaled to the world the impossibility of creating anything of value in a rectilinear lagoon where even the dedicated and willing were dragged to the bottom-feeding level of landlords and lobsters. Yet out of these impossible conditions was born the stuff of exquisite beauty, radical politics, lurid, caustic, pornographic and often hilarious evocations of the sexual and social strata in which we find ourselves. Much of this endures even in conditions Smith would have most likely have loathed. But the fact that the same frictions that heated and formed his work continue to frustrate curators as well as inflame and inspire artists – including those who have agreed to continue the spirit and legacy with works created for this show – is, I hope, testament to the enduring power and influence of Jack Smith’s extraordinary art.”Jack Smith was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1932 and died in New York in 1989. In 1998 PS1 mounted a retrospective of Jack Smith’s work that traveled to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

Gladstone Gallery has represented the Estate of Jack Smith since 2008.

Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10am – 6pm
For further information please contact Sascha Crasnow
+1 212 206 9300 or scrasnow@gladstonegallery.com
New York Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-6pm
Brussels Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10am-6pm, Saturday, 12pm-6pm

515 West 24 Street New York, NY 10011   212 206 9300   FAX 212 206 9301   Gladstonegallery.com

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