Dead Again

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Published December 30, 2010

If painting was brought back from the dead in the last decade, New York City artist Josh Smith has been a prominent architect of its continued Frankensteinian reanimation. The 34-year-old Smith’s canvases are simultaneously simplistic and multifarious, with painterly techniques that range from brash, sloppily written authorial signatures to densely collaged walls of newspaper and photocopies splashed with color. In the past, he’s even used overtly poetic motifs such as leaves and fish. What better way to celebrate the painter’s protean mastery of the medium than with this month’s show at Manhattan’s Luhring Augustine gallery, where he focuses on allover  compositions of skeletons. Did painting just die at the moment of its resurrection, or is Smith showing how the dead can be resurrected with amazing vitality? More info at luhringaugustine.com