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1000 WORDS: JOSH SMITH

Josh Smith, Untitled, 2008, mixed media on panel, 60 x 48".

PAPER MIGHT RIP, paint might spill, or the game might be on television, but Josh Smith doesn’t stop. The artist’s fulgent pictures withstand all diversions and relentlessly multiply—their motifs, in his best-known series, traversing the loping letters of his own name and the gaudy facture of “expressionist” brushstrokes. If Smith previously took up the argot of abstraction, over the past year he has increasingly focused on the trappings of representation: renderings and photographs of things. But, as always, interruptions and deflections occur along the way. He often paints a leaf—a dried specimen that he picked up on a rural walk—faithfully registering its particular notches and fissures. Any number of things might happen next, but frequently he digitally photographs the painting and then enlarges and prints the image onto a grid of letter-size paper. These sheets

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