Lux Art Institute, San Diego's interactive art destination, will welcome internationally recognized painter and sculptor Ray Smith, known for his vivid and surrealistic images, as the first artist-in-residence of the 08/09 season.
From September 12 - 27, Smith will be in residence at Lux and create a 6 ft. x 13 ft. oil painting on canvas from start to finish. Visitors can "see art happen" while he is in the studio and view his completed work through November 1, 2008.
Smith's work is highly figurative, often featuring dogs and other animals as anthropomorphic beings that hint at aspects of human nature. He bends, twists, and transplants his imagery, creating dreamlike distortions and juxtapositions.
His exhibit at Lux will include paintings imbued with a sense of his Mexican-American heritage. "From his roots in the new expressionism of the 1980s to his surreal vision of clock portraits, Ray Smith is a captivating artist to open Lux's second season," said Lux Director Reesey Shaw. "With a foot in Mexican culture, inherited from his mother's family, to his father's family's ranch in Texas, Smith's influences and experiences have resonance in San Diego as a border town with a bi-national culture. It's a thrill to welcome him to Lux.
Smith was born in Brownsville, Texas in 1959, on lands that his family had settled in the early 19th century. He studied fresco painting with traditional craftsmen in Mexico, attended art academies in Mexico and the United States, and settled in Mexico City. Since 1985, he has divided his time between New York and Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Smith's prodigious body of work has been widely exhibited in the United States and Mexico, as well as in Japan, Europe, and South America. He has exhibited in the 1989 Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; the First Triennial of Drawings at the Joan Miro Foundation in Barcelona, Spain; and "Latin American Artists of the 20th Century," an exhibition that traveled from Seville, Spain to the Musee National d'Art Moderne at the Pompidou Center in Paris, France; the Kunsthalle, Cologne, Germany; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York City. During the last two decades, Smith has had 50 one-man exhibitions.
Smith's paintings are in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Brooklyn Museum of Art; and Metropolitan Museum of Art, all in New York City; High Museum of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, Georgia; Houston Museum of Contemporary Art, Texas; Miami Art Museum, Florida; Wurth Museum, Kunzelman, Germany; Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City; and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain.