New York

Rebecca Smith

Mary Delahoyd

Rebecca Smith makes intelligent little objects of wood and plywood—sometimes with found barn wood and tree wood—painted with obscure designs that are lightheartedly irrational. The works are like catchy little tunes that seem inconsequential but stay with you, implying they’ve touched some nerve, spontaneously echoed some nuance of unconscious process. I regard her work as a lively example of what can be called the new whimsicality, which seems pervasive in much art today Her works can be regarded as fanciful toys, the kind one used to hand-make before one discovered the manufactured version—before one’s vision of playful objects became prematurely sophisticated (spoiled). Smith’s work, with its teasing look of being casually tossed together, and its touches of rawness and awkwardness, playfully reconstructs the sincere in art, which today seems unconvincing unless presented with a certain

to keep reading

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

Not registered for Register here.

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

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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