November 10 - January 19, 2023
From Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino:
“Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino is pleased to announce the upcoming solo exhibition Melanie Smith: Remain detached, the gallery’s third solo exhibition for Melanie Smith [b. 1965, England/Works in Mexico City and London]. Remain detached features a new body of work that Smith began in 2020 during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Stemming from the central piece, the video Fifteen Minutes of Sublime Meditation, the new works draw on the legacies of Surrealism and abstraction and span the media of video, watercolor, painting, collage, and textile, as is characterstic of Smith’s diverse practice. A text written by art historian Mara Polgovsky accompanies the exhibition.
Join us for a talk with the artist Melanie Smith and curator Gabriela Rangel on Thursday, November 10 from 5-6pm and opening reception immediately following from 6-8pm.
As Polgovsky writes, Fifteen Minutes of Sublime Meditation “immerses the viewer in the syncopated rhythms of a seemingly unstoppable flow of stock video footage relaying expressions of intense emotion and agitation… [that] clashes with a calm voiceover that runs throughout the piece: a guided meditation session inviting the listener to breathe and seek stillness in order to nurture relaxation and reach mindfulness… Created in 2020, during some of the most anguished moments of the global pandemic, and drawing from some of the iconography of that time, Fifteen Minutes suspends any sense of spatial stability while bringing together two senses of the ‘present’: the Buddhist imperative of focusing a detached mind in the current moment and a planetary sense of simultaneity, in which individuals were compelled, if not forced, to remain isolated and detached from one another.
In contrast to the dread-tinged speed of Fifteen Minutes, each of these hand-crafted images and textile patterns stop time, producing instead complex, static forms for spatial and material dwelling. The series of brightly coloured Psychoactive Renders, each of which was meticulously hand-painted using pigments on veneered wood panels, return soft, uneven textures to an intricately geometric iconic field that is often and increasingly reduced to the flat screen. As speculative mental landscapes of altered states, these images saturate perception, producing a destabilizing sense of movement and spatial orientation. The process doesn’t just activate the mind, it interrogates the very possibility of producing any kind of mirror of conscious and unconscious states.
This series of paintings is constellated with the Pi (π) series, which consists of framed circular patterns handwoven in cotton by Annushka Angulo and Salia Salazar from the Mexican artists collective Lana Desaste (Yarn Bombing), working in collaboration with Smith. Here, the abstracted form takes on the subtly political undertones of female labour and the materiality of cotton, a comforting organic material entwined, however, with the history of slavery. Smith’s impulse to subvert abstraction thus explores uncanny fantasies and anxieties that, as Briony Fer asserts, ‘may be at stake in the most apparently systematic of pictorial structures.’”
Smith’s works are represented in numerous international collections, including the Bruce and Diane Halle Collection, Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zürich, Switzerland; Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico; Inhotim Brazil, Brumadinho, Brazil; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX, USA; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain; Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru; Museo de Arte Moderno (MAM), Mexico City, Mexico; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, NY, USA; and Tate Gallery, London, UK, among others.”
Reception: November 10, 2022 | 5–8 pm
Artist-Curator talk at 5pm
1506 West Alabama
Houston, 77098 TX
(713) 529-1313Get directions