Working primarily with painting, Smith’s work reflects on the very possibilities and limitations of the medium itself. Her work excavates often overlooked art histories which she combines with her lived experiences to form the layers within her work. Exploring the very edges of representation, Smith's intricately rendered paintings explore issues of identity, eroticism, mortality and fragility. Wildly feral landscapes, ambiguous figures, textiles, flora and fauna are intricately depicted.
Drawing upon sources as disparate as the works of Lucas Cranach, and the couture of Madam Grès, Smith weaves archaic traditions and contemporary signs together into a personal cosmology. Her paintings are rich in detail, colour and texture, collapsing strict definitions of portraiture, landscape and still-life whilst allowing elements of each to coexist.
Anj Smith (born in Kent, England, in 1978. Lives and works in London) studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and Goldsmiths College in London. Smith has exhibited internationally in museums and galleries such as the Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland; Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany; Fondazione Stelline, Milan, Italy; Museum Arnhem, Arnhem, Netherlands; The Bluecoat, Liverpool, UK; Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville TN; Hudson Valley Centre for Contemporary Art, Peekskill NY; Galerie Isa, Mumbai, India; La Maison Rouge, Paris, France, and Me Collector’s Room, Berlin, Germany. Smith’s work is also displayed in the collections of many leading international museums and collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; MOCA The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles CA; DRAF David Roberts Art Foundation, London, UK and the Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland.