AboutFred [London] is pleased to announce the 3rd solo show at the gallery of New York based Polymath, Guy Richards Smit.
Smit, whose artistic practice include painting, performance, video and sound, will exhibit a new suite of videos, paintings and drawings called A Mountain of Skulls and Not One I Recognize. Essentially a meditation on cliché and black comedy, the videos begin simply as humorously absurd conceits, but through time and repetition become a sort of dreamy contemplation on power, desire and failure. The Smit composed soundtrack suggests an endlessly meandering sequence from an Antonioni film that is at odds with the outrageously charged moments. The bafoonish painter, the painfully empathetic doctor, the horny ogler, would all seem comfortable in a Benny Hill skit (or Rowan & Martin's laugh in) but the punch line never comes and they are left suspended in a haze of pathos.
The paintings serve as one more perverse step in the process. A cast of characters presented in a grid suggestive of a jumbled up comic book. Carefully made to appear almost offhand, the paintings, reminiscent of early Alex Katz, have an ease and facility about them, suggesting the videos are perhaps no more than an elaborate excuse to paint. That what he was looking for was a framework. A storyline.