Words, Sentences & Signs
By Baha H. Danesh
Featuring Barbara T. Smith
Located at The Box (805 Traction Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)
Through October 29th
Feminist artist Barbara T. Smith has been inspiring and pushing perimeters for over 50 years. Her 4th exhibition Words, Sentences & Signs, located at The Box, features a diverse collection of media including paintings, photography, masks, installations, and collaged books.
The exhibit includes her work from the early 1960’s through 2016 and reflects diverse aspects of feminism in political, social, and philosophical terms. This exhibition presents the origins of Smith’s art making and depicts a journey of her process and passions.
Throughout the exhibit, Smith focuses on her use of language and how communication/conversations function in her artistic practice.
“As I worked on the most recent series of photographs, “The Westside, A Blessed Time”, I discovered that over many years I had created a lineage of structures that had to do with language itself: words, sentences, and signs. What was I trying to say? I see now an elusive trail of meanings and forms that were not an attempt to communicate with others so much as to find a way to listen to myself, to plumb and record the emergent perceptions of my consciousness.”
Smith was born and raised in Los Angeles and in 1953 – studied painting at Pomona College. In 1965, she returned to her studies at Chouinard Art Institute, making The Black Glass Paintings, (which can be seen in one of the back rooms of the gallery). Her studies continued until 1971 where she received her MFA at U.C. Irvine. During that time she co-founded F-Space, the experimental art gallery where she launched her career as a feminist performance artist.
Being at the forefront of the artistic feminist movement, Barbara T. Smith has created an archive of human nature. Throughout Smith’s entire career, ‘language’ has continued to be a focus of her work. Her process and unique outlook on life can be viewed at The Box through October 29th. For more information and gallery hours visit TheBoxLA.com
All photos were captured by Baha H. Danesh at The Box L.A.