press release

Margo Leavin Gallery and Thomas Solomon Gallery are pleased to announce concurrent exhibitions of new and selected works by Alexis Smith on view from 25 April through 23 May 2009. Receptions for the artist will be held on 25 April at Margo Leavin Gallery, 4-6 pm, and Thomas Solomon Gallery, 6-9 pm.

"Play it as it Lays" applies the carefree golfing expression to a decidedly instinctual, spontaneous method for making exhibition selections. Showing work comprised of found paintings layered in Smith’s signature collage and wit, as well as rare finds collected to inspire her work, the exhibition offers a glimpse of what one might find adorning the shelves and along the walls of her studio and, metaphorically speaking, her cerebral world.

In "Imitation of Life," Smith uses found imagery to expose the way in which we choose to present ourselves: how we look, the way we live, the world we live in. Often, this imagery presents an idealized self-conception—a version of life with varying degrees of truth. In isolating and manipulating these images, Smith inspects the validity of these “imitations of life” through an ironic, often humorous lens.

Smith’s work has been the subject of over fifty solo exhibitions, most notably: the Whitney Museum of American Art (1975); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (1986); the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1986); a retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum (1991) that traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1992); the Miami Art Museum, Miami (2000); the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (2001); and the University of Wyoming Art Museum (2003). Additionally, Smith’s work has appeared in many group exhibitions, including: An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, Museum of Modern Art (1984); Sunshine and Noir: Art in L.A. 1960-1997, organized by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (1997); Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmopolitanism, Site Santa Fe Biennial (2001); and most recently WACK, Art and the Feminist Revolution, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles (2007) that traveled to P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, MoMA, Long Island City (2008). Her work is to be included in Glue, Paper, Scissors at the Luckman Gallery, California State University, Los Angeles, 4 April – 23 May as well as elles@centrepompidou at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, 27 May 2009 – 24 May 2010. Large-scale permanent installations include: Snake Path (1992) at the University of California, San Diego; terrazzo floors for the Los Angeles Convention Center (1993); the Schottenstein Center sports arena, Ohio State University (1999); and Taste, an installation for the Getty Center (1997).

Margo Leavin Gallery is located at 812 North Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Thomas Solomon Gallery @ Cottage Home is located at 410 Cottage Home Street in Los Angeles. Gallery hours are noon to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.

Alexis Smith, Play It As It Lays
Thomas Solomon Gallery @ Cottage Home
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Alexis Smith, Imitation of Life
Margo Leavin Gallery