Josh Smith: Emo Jungle
by Josh Smith (Author), Bob Nickas (Author)
Josh Smith: Emo Jungle looks at the artist’s vigorous repetition of particular motifs, illuminating his approach to painting as an exploratory medium for image production. Published on the occasion of Smith’s critically acclaimed first exhibition at David Zwirner, this catalogue features a new body of work that marks an important evolution for the artist. In these paintings, Smith sets the stage for a new mode of self-reflective commentary on image making, acknowledging that “the meaning perhaps arises in the making.”
A new essay by Bob Nickas treats the Reaper, Turtle, and Devil figures from Emo Jungle as ciphers through which to understand Smith’s work. Nickas demonstrates how these new paintings restage and personalize the artist’s more abstract earlier works and illuminates the ways in which repetition functions within Smith’s practice. With more than one hundred illustrations, this book serves as the ideal introduction to Smith’s disruptive oeuvre.
Josh Smith is best known for his aggressive, gestural paintings of his own name, in which the letters fluctuate between signifiers and abstracted forms. In recent years, he has experimented with more figurative subjects such as fish, leaves, skeletons, and insects. Using murky color and large brushstrokes, Smith is not interested in precisely rendering his subjects, but rather in exploring the possibilities of abstraction. Many of his paintings incorporate digital images of previous work, which he then exhaustively reworks. – Artsy
Hardcover: 96 pages
Dimensions: 21.59 x 1.78 x 26.67 cm
Publisher: David Zwirner Books; Illustrated edition (3 Sept. 2020)