Cary Smith

Gallery Affiliations: Feature Inc.

Region: Northeast

For a good while now I’ve wanted to make non-representational paintings that suggest a narrative while remaining essentially abstract. I try not to think of references; they get in the way for me. When I start to see something or think of something particular, I will veer away.

I’m particularly interested in “territory.” What seems to be relevant, original, reflective territory; territory worth mining, which is hard to find. For me, monochrome is largely about creating a severity, and a kind of personality. I think personality is what we remember most.

I test individual colors on scrap pieces of primed linen, pin them to the wall, then sit and look at them, waiting to understand what I’m seeing. The preliminary studies for my paintings are made slowly, generally in graphite. The shapes are adjusted and readjusted until I can feel a sort of vibration. When a shape feels right, I blow it up onto the linen exactly as it is. This allows for an intuitive/prescribed back and forth that sets up interesting contradictions.