Greg Parma Smith, Poseurs 4, 2011, oil and gesso on canvas, 36 x 48".

Greg Parma Smith

Balice Hertling at the Film Center | New York

Greg Parma Smith, Poseurs 4, 2011, oil and gesso on canvas, 36 x 48".

It’s not often that practitioners of academic figure painting are identified as a subculture, but when Greg Parma Smith used the term in relation to such artists in his exhibition “Life Drawings, Poseurs, and ‘thirteen oil paintings on canvas,’” the classification didn’t seem entirely off-the-wall. Juxtaposing nude studies with paintings that sample from comic strips, a handmade book of graffiti-style lettering and imagery, and a cartoonlike wall painting, Smith’s show made a case for connecting stylistically divergent representations of the body to niche interests identified with particular historical moments. And by approaching one usage in the style of another, he aimed to explore ideas around public and private modes of expression.

In the life paintings (the titular “Poseurs,” 2011), Smith’s treatment of his subjects appears conventional. Young men and women are shown positioned

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