Anj Smith, Sport Luxe, 2016, oil on linen, 19 3/8 x 16 7/8".

Anj Smith

Hauser & Wirth | Zurich

Anj Smith, Sport Luxe, 2016, oil on linen, 19 3/8 x 16 7/8".

Anj Smith’s pictures come in handy formats; a few are so small as to suggest intimate possessions designed for easy transportation. In this exhibition, “If Not, Winter,” thirteen paintings and a suite of seven etchings were spread out over the gallery’s walls with plenty of space between them. The motifs to be discerned in the hermetically closed world that Smith renders in works as precise and luminous as an old masters were as diverse as they were allusive: a crescent moon; what might have been a tattered piece of fabric; a monstrous face; an upwelling of dirt; a no-man’s-land; a fantastic (or traumatized) creature, half woman, half animal; and, time and again, sprawling tangles of branches, brushwood, netting. The genres—landscape, still life, portrait—are familiar. Yet, by looking more closely, we realize that such boundaries partitioning the world are permeable,

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