Dean Smith is presenting small works on paper at Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco through December 16. Made of either fluorescent ink or graphite on paper, each of the drawings deploys tiny, repetitive marks to produce either a complex field or a simple shape in a color field.
Remarkably, the graphite marks in “intooutof #3” and “focusing #2, 2006” turn from dark grey to silver depending on the viewer’s distance from the wall. Combined with the complexity of the small marks’ configuration, and the relationship Smith creates between center and corners, the shifting grey to silver light produces a dynamic fluctuating field. The most intriguing work is therefore titled “intooutof #3, 2006”; it bends space.
“Spot #5, 2006” is a shape composed of concentric circles of tiny fluorescent green marks in a pink field. If Smith’s graphite marks are made by his keeping his pencil sharp, so these ink markings are made by the point of a very fine pen. Small repeated marks, fluorescent ink and complementary colors produce a volume of intense light.
These are labor intensive centering devices referring in a general way to botanical processes of chrystalization and growth.
T.J. Clark, Professor of Modern Art at the University of California Berkeley, as a member of the notorious group, Retort, has an installation at the 2nd Biennial of Contemporary Art in Seville (Spain), artistic director, Okwui Enwezor. Retort’s installation centers on broadsheets they produced in 2003 in response to the American War in Iraq and more recent broadsheets protesting the Israeli incursions into Lebanon. The Retorters have recently published a book, Afflicted Powers: Capital and Spectacle in a New Age of War.