new-york

Alexis Smith

Holly Solomon Gallery

When you walk into Alexis Smith’s rendition of what these United States are all about, or were about between the wars, you enter through an arch in a white picket fence. Silhouettes of houses, and trees, either cut-outs or painted directly on the wall, are presented with pithy excerpts from Sinclair LewisMain Street, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and Nathanael West’s Day of the Locust. All of the pictures and the text are about American middle-class desires and illusions, as embodied in images from a mythic past. On the rear wall, there is a looming silhouette of an ocean liner from the days when men were men, and a perfectly charming grey-and-black silhouette of the car in which Isadora Duncan took her final spin, along with texts alluding to sobering social realities, taken from John Dos PassosThe Big Money. On the adjoining wall, there are silhouettes of telephone poles, and even a

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1981 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.