For more than a decade artist Shinique Smith has extracted visual poetry from clothing, vintage fabrics, and found objects—items that exist in the realm of what we call belongings—to construct totemic sculptures, and monumental paintings and installations. Examining the ways in which these objects resonate on a personal and social scale, Smith builds a complex material vocabulary that is deftly interwoven between broad calligraphic strokes, and private narratives memories and symbolism for the viewer to divine and intuit. Smith’s practice operates at the convergence of consumption, displacement and spiritual sanctuary, revealing connections across space, time, and place to suggest the possibility of constructing worlds renewed by hopeful delight.
Born in Baltimore and residing in Los Angeles, Smith has presented over 20 solo exhibitions at prestigious institutions including Baltimore Museum of Art, California African American Museum; Frist Center; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Savannah College of Art and Design; MOCA Jacksonville, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem and her works are included in the permanent collections of Brooklyn Museum of Art; Denver Art Museum; Minneapolis Art Institute, the Rubell Family Museum, UBS Art Collection and The Whitney Museum. The artist has also received awards from Joan Mitchell Foundation Tiffany Foundation and Anonymous Was a Woman among others. Smith earned her BFA and MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art where she was also awarded the Alumni Medal of Honor.