< Joseph Smith Arts - Biography/Chronology






Pensacola News Journal
'Time' Keeps Ticking at Artel Gallery

The title of Joseph Smith’s interactive relief collage sculpture hybrid, “Well, Push My Tongue, I’m Behind The Times,” directs the viewer in just how to appreciate the piece. Tongue pushed brings to ear Smith singing Stones favorite “Time Is On My Side.”

The Washington Post
A Touch of the Unforeseen

In its 23rd annual group show, the Mickelson Gallery is trotting out something for everyone - what sells, what would work on a particular wall over the sofa. But a few of the artists here introduce an element of the unexpected.

The enameled bronze sculptures by Joseph Smith - partial views of people inside an architectural form of some sort - are among the best in the show and would work least well in the living room. "The Tower" is Kafkaesque - a menacing man in a business suit in the window of a tall column. A woman is either prisoner or princess in "The Attic." She looks out a window in a pediment that is made to hang on the wall. The shape is entirely house-like, but when you get to the bottom of it, the graying white paint wears thin, becomes cloudy, then disappears into the bronze base. It's a very effective illusion.

Journal of the Arts - Avignon, France

What hits the layman immediately when he finds himself confronted with the paintings of Joseph Smith is the impression of force, of equilibrium, of fullness that the paintings release from within.

Obviously inspired by the Orient, the style recalls the sumi-e, but the color, its colleague, has its own identity. Symbol of the five seasons of the energetic Chinese one, the large canvasses symbolize turn by turn Autumn, incarnate by the man, the yang and ochre colors of brown and fauvre, Winter with blue and green waves of the feminine soul, yin, meditation, Spring and its pastels or man and woman rejoining for a Summer finale flare up in crimsons and gold.

The large paintings on canvass suggest the harmony of forces terrestrial and cosmic, and as much the small watercolors beneath breathe at once eroticism and kindness. Grouped together by three under each of the larger seasons corresponding, their titles evoke the earth and sky in their reciprocal interaction, thus they "Dance the life in death" and "Dance the death in life".

More carnal again are the sculptures, unless they do not evoke irresistably Gustave Dore. Of rock, of wood, indeed of resin clay, they call to us just as well the look as brush stroke. This is aside from the goal of the artist which all the work expresses at once, sensuality and spirituality.

Born in 1944 in Oklahoma, Joseph Smith has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and practically all big cities of the United States. In 1993, he installed himself here in France in Eyragues where he today has his studio. His first French exposition took place at Le Baux de Provence. He exposes to us here that his sculpture is unique, especially the works where mankind is put into true and real perspective, miniaturized, folding themselves into the space of conceived nature as a nourishing pad. The works of this genre have for titles "Hiding" and "Serenity". At the Grand Cafe, these are present next to moment of excessive physical emotion such as "The Woman" or "The Man" to "Twins".

"I do not wish to imitate the human body in merely a representation in picture or form. I desire to force the exploration of the intensity of each of our own's sensuality in those rare moments where each of us tests his essence and tastes the self", states Joseph Smith.

A rare exposition in a place out of the ordinary. Absolutely a must see!

The Middletown Press
New Sculpture In New Garden

Cavalier Galleries in Stamford has taken advantage of a below the street level space at One Landmark Square to create an out-of-doors sculpture garden. Most of the works in the garden more or less suggest something which has gone before. One asks "Where have I seen you before."

The two pieces by Joseph Smith are not eligible for this quiz because they are not like any other pieces of sculpture. Smith plays well with the fantastic, the conjunction of the recognizable in a totally improbable environment. He is not a Surrealist but there is a kinship in his work with the Surrealism of someone like Magritte. His work doesn't in any way look like that of Magritte but each artist improbably makes the plausible exist in the world of the improbable.

"The Tower," one of Smith's pieces, consists of a slender and delicately painted long, vertical tube of bronze with a hole, about the size of the palm of your hand cut in it. A small carefully modeled human head is seen protruding through the hole. The figure looks fixedly into the distance, within the tube, that is, and ignores the outside world. Implausible, improbable, but clearly there.

"East," again by Smith, is a more complex work. The viewer sees what appears to be an antique gray-white marble grave stone, a stele. The stele is decorated with small classical ornaments and there appears to be a piece of fabric or a splinter piece of wood penetrating it from side to side. But illusion is the keynote here; the work piece is not stone or fabric or wood but painted bronze. We are deceived from the beginning; craft and art conceal physical reality. On one side a relatively small lozenge shaped opening about a quarter of the way from the base of the work contains a very finely rendered human head surrounded by swirling drapery. The head is of dark bronze, the drapery painted a light gray or white. The expression of the face suggests an intensely emotional inner state. The combination of elements, visual as well as intellectual and emotional, all suggest more than meets the eye. It is a work of art which moves the spectator out of the immediate and particular into a larger world with fewer boundaries.

The Stamford Times
Innovative Sculpture

"Resting With Stones," an onyx figure by artist Joseph Smith is one of the most intriguing pieces currently on exhibit at the Cavalier Galleries through December.Best known for his realistic, mysterious images, Smith has recently changed his style to abstracted, rounded figures in bronze and onyx.Smith has exhibited widely in many major U.S. cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.