Here | Now. The exhibition features more than 100 works from three decades by the prolific artist, highlighting key themes: Ray Smith-a radical hybrid of Mexican-American culture; suggestive dichotomies-mystery within familiarity-subversive propagandism-Mexican muralism and Modernist traditions; and the spirit of collaboration within his practice.
JERSEY CITY, NJ, January 17, 2013––When Ray Smith’s Gowanus studio was flooded by Hurricane Sandy, Mana Contemporary offered refuge to the internationally-recognized artist with studio space as well as restoration and safekeeping of his water-logged work. As the artist resurges, Mana Contemporary presents a new exhibition, Ray Smith: Here | Now, on view from March 3 to May 5, 2013.
The exhibition features more than 100 works from three decades by the prolific artist, highlighting key themes: Ray Smith—a radical hybrid of Mexican-American culture; suggestive dichotomies––mystery within familiarity––subversive propagandism––Mexican muralism and Modernist traditions; and the spirit of collaboration within his practice.
The show, installed throughout several floors of gallery and performance space at Mana Contemporary, offers an enormous cross-sectional look at the artist’s lifestyle, his work, his studio, and his commitment to fellow artists as a peer and mentor.
On the sixth floor, in conjunction with The Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation, Mana Contemporary presents Smith’s private collection, as well as works collected by his friend, anthropologist and art critic Francesco Pellizzi. On the fifth floor, a selection of large works bombards the viewer with the power of nature, including Tex-Rex (Ocean), 2006, which relates to Moses’ parting of the Red Sea. A series of paintings on the fourth floor, created in collaboration with G.T. Pellizzi, addresses the violent strife at the U.S.-Mexican border. On the second floor, visitors can see Smith’s artistic process in a re-creation of his Gowanus studio. Smith will invite emerging artists to work with him on a daily basis for the duration of the exhibition.
During the opening party on Sunday, March 3, live music performances will be held in Mana Contemporary’s 5,000-square-foot beer garden––acting as a satellite of Smith’s hangar-like studio, which often serves as a rehearsal space for emerging musicians. Also in the beer garden, Mana unveils Giants & Dwarfs, a massive installation consisting of more than 200 wood panels painted, carved, and transformed by Michael Zansky. Additionally, a preview of new works by celebrity photographer Sante D’Orazio titled Scratched is on view in the first floor gallery.
ABOUT RAY SMITH
Born in Brownsville, Texas, in 1959, Ray Smith has exhibited internationally in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, France, Japan, and Mexico. His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico, among others. He currently divides his time between New York, Mexico, and Texas.
ABOUT MANA CONTEMPORARY
Mana Contemporary is a groundbreaking cultural venue just minutes from Manhattan. Based on an integrated philosophy, the center provides services, spaces, and programming for artists, collectors, curators, performers, students and the greater community within a single location. Mana Contemporary is home to the Middle East Center for the Arts, the Carole Feuerman Foundation, the Eileen S. Kaminsky Foundation, Shen Wei Dance Arts, and Armitage Gone! Dance. For more information about Mana Contemporary, visit www.manacontemporary.com.
Image: Maricruz y Mariana, 1993. Oil and acrylic on wood, 108 x 180 in.
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