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Kambel Smith: Building

Mar 24 — May 26, 2022

Featuring work by: Kambel Smith

Opening reception: March 24, 12:00-7:00pm


Fleisher/Ollman proudly presents Kambel Smith's Building, his second solo exhibition at the gallery. Smith makes stunning, large-scale sculptural re-creations of iconic architecture. Working in cardboard (sourced mainly from the trash), foam board, glue, paint, and a range of media, Smith, who is self-taught, pays close attention to replicating detailed architectural features. He has an uncanny ability to enlarge scale accurately, basing his sculptures solely on images sourced from the internet. Before embarking on the architectural sculptures, Smith made paintings of historical buildings on canvas, bucolic landscape paintings, as well as other subjects. His painting skills are clearly evident in his three-dimensional work, and are particularly captivating in the LED billboards he has rendered as paintings in Times Square, as well as the polychrome exuberance of Philadelphia's Chinatown Arch; Smith's palette of primary colors, use of gold leaf, and details that resemble miniature abstract paintings animate his rendition of this Philadelphia landmark. Other buildings featured in the exhibition are New York icons such as the Woolworth and Flat Iron buildings. He explores the classical austerity of Washington, D.C. architecture in his renditions of the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. Smith brings together obsessive detail, humbleness of materials, and presence through scale in works that reveal a deeply human and personalized take on our built environment. Smith’s artistic journey has been centered around his family, and he has used art as an avenue to channel his autism. 


Smith is incredibly productive. During the past two years of the pandemic, the artist has created over twenty sculptures, including a series of works based on the architecture of Milwaukee, made for the Green Gallery in that city earlier this year, as well as sculptures for our exhibition.


Kambel Smith has had one-person exhibitions at the Green Gallery; Fleisher/Ollman; Marlborough, New York, NY; the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA; Elaine de Kooning House, East Hampton, NY; and the 2019 Outsider Art Fair (presented by Chris Byrne), New York, NY. He has been included in group exhibitions at Marlborough, London and the Brooklyn Print & Photo Fair, Brooklyn, NY. His work is in the collections of the American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; and the West Collection, Oaks, PA. In 2021, he received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and in 2022 he received a Wynn Newhouse Award.


Fleisher/Ollman thanks Chris Byrne for facilitating this exhibition.

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