Josh Smith was born in Tennessee in 1978. He received his BFA from the University of Tennessee in 1998, and also attended Miami University. Smith constantly references to his name, Josh Smith, in his works. Slightly abstracted, initials, or completely illegible, much of his work consists of characters with a background of jumbled pigment.
Through books, paintings and collages, Josh Smith explores the ideas of authenticity, authorship and the mythology of the artist. His casual anti-art aesthetic intentionally defies the rules of artistic convention in an ironic and informed manner. Smith's training and background in printmaking influence the conceptual and formal foundation of his work; the signifying components of his methodology consist of systematic processes, replication and serial repetition. While many of his works are figurative in nature, they avoid precise representation in favor of an exploration of abstraction. Much like the manipulation of the letters of his name for which Smith gained an early reputation, a fish or leaf motif exists as a point of departure here. The subject is rendered in dots, zigzags, and waves to create an energetic composition of gestural brushstrokes and color.
Smith’s work is included in significant international private and public collections, in the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City; Miami Art Museum, Miami, Fl; Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela and Los Angeles County Museum of Art among many others.