Anj Smith

Geometry of Bliss

7 September - 2 October 2010

New York, 69th Street

No larger than an envelope and as lapidary as an 11th century Persian miniature, Anj Smith's painting 'R.' depicts a close friend of the artist as a 21st century Mona Lisa. An enigmatic figure stares out from the folds of an exquisitely rendered couture creation of tulle and fur, a leather bustier, and a Liberty print wrap. Behind her, a strip of daylight outlines the sea beyond distant hills. But as the details of this picture accrue, so do its contradictions. R's golden curls are in fact facial whiskers; her silks are decaying; her collar contains clinging rodents; and the landscape around her is dissolving into abstraction, bisected by a jagged white tear. Neither woman nor man, R. is instead a person suspended in transition from one gender to another just as the hour of her day hovers ambiguously between dawn and dusk. She embodies what Anj Smith describes as 'the anxiety of existing in a climate where nothing is stable, everything is profoundly uncertain, with gender boundaries constituting just one of the many lost structures of the times in which we're living.'

View more

Installation views

About the Artist

Anj Smith

Anj Smith’s work negotiates the space between the genres of portraiture, landscape, and still-life. In her interrogation and celebration of the medium of painting, alluring flora and fauna—from vines, flowers, and ivy to ambiguous creatures and human figures—populate ecologically devastated landscapes. Refusing fast consumption, her work explores issues of gender, ecology, anxiety, and eroticism. 

Current Exhibitions