ferndale-michigan

View of “Michael E. Smith,” 2014. From left: untitled, 2014; untitled, 2014.

Michael E. Smith

Susanne Hilberry Gallery

View of “Michael E. Smith,” 2014. From left: untitled, 2014; untitled, 2014.

Detroit-born Michael E. Smith’s familiarity with the Susanne Hilberry Gallery (he has been featured in six shows at the venue) no doubt contributed to the sophisticated visual harmony between a series of his near-monochromatic rectilinear artworks and the architecture of this former sales office, built in 1954. In a slender installation that demonstrated the artist’s affinity for simple geometry, a series of thirteen sculptures—largely composed of weathered or worn domestic objects and building materials, but also fossils and bones—and paintings hewn from fabric, vinyl, plastic, and resin served in part as the artist’s response to the legacy of local Cass Corridor artists who in the late 1960s dabbled in the paradigms of geometric abstraction and assemblage. In the junk aesthetic of Michigan-based sculptors Robert Sestok, Gordon Newton, or Michael Luchs, the themes of

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