Michael E. Smith
Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
Michael E. Smith’s sculptures respond to a culture of aggressive consumption and the rapid exhaustion of reserves. Working with found materials, both manufactured and natural, stripped to their bare minimum and reconfigured through juxtaposition or placement, Smith makes constructions that are laden with a sense of foreboding. The treasured and the thrown away collide, occasionally with a wry humour, to speak of fragility, loss and shared states, be they political, economic or personal. Smith’s sculptures exist as accumulated traces of human experience, of want, need and excesses. The installation of his exhibitions is always critical, with existing architecture and light harnessed as something of a pedestal. Responding to the galleries of the Henry Moore Institute, the exhibition – Smith’s first solo presentation in a UK institution – will include new and recent work.
Michael E. Smith lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions that include: Kunsthalle Basel, 2018; SMAK, Ghent, 2017; Kunstverein Hannover, 2015; De Appel, Amsterdam, 2015; Sculpture Center, Queens, 2015; La Triennale di Milano, Milan, 2014; Power Station, Dallas, 2014; CAPC musee d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, 2013; and Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, 2011, among others. Smith was included in the 58th Venice Biennale and participated in the 2022 and 2012 Whitney Biennial. His work has additionally been included in group exhibitions at venues including MoMA PS1, Queens, 2014; Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2014; and MOCA Cleveland, Cleveland, 2013, among others.