Michael Smith 1975 - 1985
Michael Smith´s impressive exhibition and performance history began in the 1970s. He graduated from Colorado College in 1973 with a degree in painting, but was also intrigued by the performance art of Vito Acconci, William Wegman and Richard Foreman. Smith is best known for his performances, installations, drawings and video’s, but his forty year career also include puppet shows, commercial and cable television skits, stand up comedy and comic publications. He often uses humour in his work and invokes the routines and formats of popular comedy to articulate and emphasize the banality and hype of mass consumer culture. The videos and performances usually revolve around the adventures and ideas of his alter ego and central persona Mike and his ineffectual search for a piece of the American Dream. Mike has a slightly naïve but positive outlook on life. As a result he continually falls victim to trends, fashions and his own naive ambitions. Mike is the eternal underdog, whose sense of isolation translates into satirical physical comedy reminiscent of filmmakers like Jacques Tati and Buster Keaton.
During Artissima | Back to the Future Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS and Dan Gunn Gallery present work developed by Michael Smith between 1975 and 1985, with a special emphasis on the working relation with Van Lagestein and Corps de Garde in the Netherlands.
Michael Smith lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and Austin, Texas. Recent solo exhibitions include Greene Naftali, New York (2015), Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2014); Tramway, Glasgow International (2014); Art Basel Parcours, Basel (2013); Hales Gallery, London (2013); Dan Gunn Gallery, Berlin (2012); Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2011); Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam (2010); SculptureCenter, Long Island City (2009); Galleria Emi Fontana, Milan (2009); ICA, Philadelphia (2008); and Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2007). His work has been exhibited in numerous group shows, including Toys Redux – On Play and Critique, Migros Museum, Zurich (2015); The Radiants, Bortolami Gallery, New York (2015); Performing Franklin Furnace, Participant Inc., New York (2015); Rituals of Rented Island, Whitney Museum, New York (2013); The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009); 2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum (2008); and Standby: No Technical Difficulties, MoMA, New York (2004). His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Paley Center for Media in New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim, Brazil.
5 – 8 November 2015,
booth: Back to the Future, Gray no.15
Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS in collaboration with Dan Gunn Gallery, Berlin
This project has been made possible by the generous support of the Mondriaan Fund