Aronson Gallery

On display until Aug. 25

The Saint Louis University Museum of Art

The Unscripted exhibition includes drawings, paintings and constructions based on myths that Smith creates, including motifs that are part of his entire oeuvre. Smith's work is influenced by his lifelong love of cultural anthropology and desert environments. Aside from the obvious effort of making both paintings and three-dimensional forms, he follows a tradition of object-making that is present in the history of primitive and modern cultures.

Smith's sculptural works are a special, honest statement about our relationship to the land and our ancestors. "The work is different, fresh and communicates a palpable integrity," noted Paul Klein of Art Letter. Ivy Cooper of The St. Louis Beacon writes, "These works are breathtaking, somehow heartbreaking, and they will forever alter your notions of drawing in art."

Smith's background as both printmaker and painter is evident in his thinking and his process. His art requires the viewer to participate in understanding the ways in which he builds his work; seeing that all parts of every piece are composed. If willing, one can gain entry into a wonderful visual and cognitive domain.

About the artist:

James M. Smith is a native of St. Louis. His academic credentials include a BFA from the University of Kansas and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has taught at universities in the United States and Canada. Smith's work is represented in many museums and in both the corporate and private sector.

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