Ritter/Zamet is proud to present New York-based artist Lucien Smith’s first solo exhibition in London, titled Needle in the Hay.
Centred around ideas reflecting on the rites of passage, Lucien Smith’s work is concerned with the struggles of youth: self-control, anger, loss, naivety and regrettable decisions. A large-scale sculpture of a semi-demolished football goalpost, Just when I thought you couldn't possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this... and totally redeem yourself!, 2011 is a visual pun on the destruction of ambition due to frustration or by simply acting impetuously. Inspired by David Hammons’ Higher Goals (1986), Smith articulates the insecurity and hesitancy of reaching for success through demolishing the very symbol of its possibility.
An installation, Needle in the Hay, 2011, is a monument built from multiple hay bales depicting a particular memory of the artist’s Upstate New York surroundings. The stacks configure to present an obstacle – an obstructed view of a painting: Goodbye is Too Good a Word, 2011. While the construction signifies separation and conflict, the painting expresses a therapeutic and meditative moment. By filling a fire extinguisher with paint then using it to spray the medium onto canvas, Smith invites the myriad results of chance and the possible connections that arise from performing the exercise. Two colours meet to form a third; the un-orchestrated arrangement, which resembles a pattern of raindrops, speaks to both the sadness and joy of human relationships.
Lucien Smith was born in Los Angeles in 1989. He graduated with a B.F.A. in Painting from The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, 2011.