Rhonda Smith: Oh That Beautiful Planet, What Have We Done?

June 5-30, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, June 7, 2019, 5:00-8:00 pm

  • Rhonda Smith

    Building 3 (Red Lean) (left), clay, wire and acrylic, 28 x 6.5 x 4.5 inches, 2018.
    Building 5 (Middle)
    (right), clay, wire, wood, and acrylic, 17 x 3.5 x 5.5 inches, 2018.

    Building 3 (Red Lean) and Building 5 (Middle)
  • Rhonda Smith

    Building 5 (Middle) (detail), clay, wire, wood, and acrylic, 17 x 3.5 x 5.5 inches, 2018.

    Building 5 (Middle) detail
  • Rhonda Smith

    Building 6 (Ghost), clay wire, and gouache, 8 x 2 x 13 inches, 20189.

    Building 6 (Ghost)f
  • Rhonda Smith

    Building 10 (All Dressed Up), clay, wire, cord, and acrylic, 18 x 6 x 4 inches, 2019.

    Building 10 (All Dressed Up)
  • Rhonda Smith

    Building With No Number, wire, netting, wood, screen, and acrylic, 17 x 6 x 9 inches, 2018.

    Building With No Number
  • Rhonda Smith

    Imagined City 1, clay, wire and mixed media, 17 x 24 x 16 inches, 2019.

    Imagined City
  • Rhonda Smith

    Imagined City 2, clay, wire and mixed media, 28 x 24 x 16 inches, 2018.

    Imagined City
  • Rhonda Smith

    Sulphur the Element, clay, wire, acrylic, cord, screen, net, thread, 32 x 54 x 14 inches, 2019.

    Sulphur the Element
  • Rhonda Smith

    Kelpish, clay, ink, pencil and acrylic on paper on panel, 25.5 x 19.5 x 1 inches, 2019.

  • Rhonda Smith

    Aerial, clay and oil on panel, 48 x 72 x 1 inches, 2017.


Artist Page

In her latest exhibition, Oh That Beautiful Planet, What Have We Done? Rhonda Smith transforms found materials along with wire mesh dripping with clay, paint, netting, and wood—into sculptures as symbols of urban architecture in conflict with the insistence of nature. The installations are an homage to the beauty and intricacies of natural phenomena and their battle with humankind. Smith's new work is a departure from her previous focus on painting and allows a multidimensional exploration of forms; the power of her message has never been more strongly felt than in this exhibition.

The show is in two parts. The front room houses individual pieces that comprise a world of re-examined natural forms: an element from the periodic table, satellite views of earth, a map, wormholes and more. The second room holds an installation, a battlefield between humankind and nature. In this exhibition Smith has constructed lilting model skyscrapers between one and four feet in height, containing stairs and ladders that go nowhere. These buildings stand as the human intrusion in the ongoing global destruction of nature. Her skyscrapers mirror towering urban structures that are both amazing feats of human intelligence and also brash evidence of human hubris and the desire to dominate. Looming up behind the imagined city is nature at her reactive best. "We have these elongated boxes in which we cannot easily ascend or descend without assistance. I like the idea of assembling a city but am also disturbed by my own urban surroundings." With this statement Smith emphasizes the perpetual conflict of human against nature, the adaptive, intelligent and ever evolving force.

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