Interview with the artist by Sophie Aschauer
The work of American artist Josh Smith focuses on themes authenticity and authorship. His paintings, collages, artist books and installations encircle the central myths of modern painting, and connect subjectivities to the exterior world. Josh Smith first became known for his “Name Paintings”, in which his everyman name functions as a pictorial motif for variations—of the painting and signature in one. This publication presents, in two volumes, the artist’s “Abstract Paintings” next to his “Palette Paintings”. Two concepts, two themes, two books: on the one hand, archetypes of abstract-expressionist paintings with airy compositions in lively colors; on the other, canvases onto which Smith squeezes out his paintbrush, with the straightforward aesthetic of simple forms. Both books show how serious reflection can emerge from an aggressive-ironic approach. And how abstract art can emerge out of the ideal, without the need for pathos, artistic genius or over-appreciation of the individual painting. The additional text booklet contains an interview with Sophie Aschauer that broaches these questions, alongside installation views and the “Announcement Paintings” made for Abstraction.