‘SHUT UP THE MUSIC’ BY RAY SMITH (1980s)

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A mixed media collage on masonite by contemporary Mexican-American painter and sculptor Ray Smith (b. 1959). Frequently employing art historical references in his post-modern compositions, Smith uses stenciling and newsprint here to pay conspicuous homage to the Spanish Cubists of the early 20th century. The aggressive title hints at the political daring of much of his later work and gives the nod to his bona fides as an heir to the Mexican muralist tradition. Signed en verso and contained in a simple, carved, gold-colored frame.

RAY SMITH was born in Brownsville, TX, in 1959, into the fabled Yturria ranching dynasty, on land that his family had settled before the American annexation of Texas. He was raised in Central Mexico and attended art academies in both Mexico and the US. He studied fresco painting with traditional craftsmen, and their influence is seen in his choice of subject matter and reflected, along with an indebtedness to Picasso and the Surrealists, in his inimitable style. Since his mid 20s, he has divided his time between NYC and Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Smith has pursued a collaborative approach to art-making, producing—often with the input of studio assistants—paintings and sculptures characterized by art historical references and magical realism and emblematic of his bicultural heritage.

Ray Smith’s work has been widely exhibited in the US and Mexico, as well as in Japan, Europe, and South America. His paintings are held in the collections of the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art—all in New York City—Atlanta’s High Museum of Contemporary Art; the Houston Museum of Contemporary Art; the Miami Art Museum; the Wurth Museum in Kunzelman, Germany; Mexico City's Centro Cultural de Arte Contemporaneo; and Madrid’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

Ray Smith is a contemporary American artist, best known for his segmented paintings and sculptures combining elements of Cubism, printmaking, art historical reference, and collage into postmodern compositions. Often relating to Surrealism in his unreal juxtapositions, Smith’s work is also characterized by a unique kind of magical realism. He frequently utilizes anthropomorphic animals in his work in a manner akin to Pablo Picasso's Guernica, stating about the creatures in his work: “They are beasts, but they are directly attached to a blueprint of our own existence.” Born in 1959 in Brownsville, TX on family land that was part of Mexico before the Texas Annexation, Smith grew up in Central Mexico, and continued to retain a cultural and geographic tie to the country. After attending art schools in both the United and Mexico, Smith ultimately settled in Cuernavaca while continuing to travel regularly to New York. Smith's work can be found among the collections and exhibition histories of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

DETAILS

Artist – RAY SMITH

Period – 1980s

Origin – NORTH AMERICA

Styles/Movements – CUBISM; MODERNISM

Media – OIL PAINT, PAPER

Support – MASONITE

Colors – GOLDENROD, BLACK, TAN, WHITE

Condition – Excellent vintage condition.

Dimensions – 14 ⅜" W × 1 ¼" D × 10 ¼" H

Quantity Available – 1