Subjective Histories of Sculpture: Allison Smith

    Mon, Mar 11, 2013, 7–9pm

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    SculptureCenter, in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, is thrilled to continue the artist-led lecture series Subjective Histories of Sculpture. This program, initiated in 2006, furthers SculptureCenter's exploration of how contemporary artists think about sculpture, its history, legacies, and potential for innovation.

    This year, Martin Kersels, Agnieszka Kurant, and Allison Smith have been invited to present their own take on art history and consider the thematic focus of thingness. Utilizing sculpture as a point of departure and source of inspiration, they explore the material conditions of our lives. Engaging with a rich collection of social, cultural and political associations, these artists consider the body as a performative object, study objects to explore the construction of identity, and negotiate the tension and translation between material and immaterial experience. Citing specific works, bodies of work, texts, and personal anecdotes taken from inside and outside cultural production, and inside and outside "art," these subjective, incomplete, partial, or otherwise eclectic histories question assumptions and propose alternative methods for understanding sculpture's evolving strategies.

    Allison Smith is known for creating large-scale installations, public art projects, performative sculptures, and participatory workshops and events. Her practice draws from an interest in historical reenactments as well as folk art and craft histories to explore constructions of national identity and experiences of violence. She takes a specific interest in objects made by soldiers in trenches during times of war. Her recent work has explored war using contemporary metaphors and current events to draw connections with memory, materials, and domesticity. Engaging civilians and military service members through hands-on workshops, Smith also attempts to provoke memories of forgotten histories that initiate real conversations about the human experience in the face of violence.

    Smith was born in Manassas, Virginia in 1972. She holds a BA in Psychology from the New School for Social Research (1995), a BFA from Parsons School of Design (1995), and an MFA from Yale University (1999). She participated in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program (2000). Smith has held solo exhibitions and produced artist-led projects at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; Berkley Art Museum; and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. She has also been included in numerous group exhibitions at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Andy Warhol Museum, MoMA P.S.1, Palais de Tokyo, among others. Smith is the 2012 Artadia artist in residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York. She currently lives and works in Oakland, CA and is the Chair of the Sculpture Program at California College of the Arts.

    Image: Allison Smith, Fort Point Evening, 2012. Courtesy the artist.