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Press Release

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present rare mixed media collages from the 1980s and new work by Alexis Smith in booth C37 in the PRESENTS section of FIAC Officielle 2015.

Alexis Smith has been creating mixed media collages juxtaposing found images, objects, and text for nearly four decades. Known for her sardonic humor and dry wit, Smith is influenced by the Los Angeles locale, Americana, literature, and pop culture. For FIAC Officielle, Honor Fraser Gallery will present two works by Alexis Smith from the 1980s: Newsreel (1980) and Daily Planet (1986). Both composed of separate sheets arranged side by side in long panels with printed text and collaged elements, these two collages are indicative of Smith’s work from the late 1970s through the 1980s. Newsreel features four aluminum lithography plates with printed images and text as well as found objects. The texts in Newsreel are quotations of news headlines in the final book in John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. trilogy, The Big Money (1936). Newsreel was exhibited in Smith’s traveling retrospective Alexis Smith at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (1991) and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (1992). Daily Planet comprises a group of six mixed media collages divided into two frames with silkscreened lines of poetry by infamous Doors frontman Jim Morrison and found objects such as a snow cone cup, bow tie, rusted beer can, and curtain pull on newspaper pages. The booth at FIAC Officielle features a re-creation of a painted mural backdrop of a vintage label for “DownTown” produce to reprise the original presentation of Daily Planet in Individuals: A Selected History of Contemporary Art, 1945-1986 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 1986. As a counterpoint to these older collages, we will also include Ice (2014) and Tangle (2014), small collages that show the evolution of Smith’s work in recent years. Using a page from a fashion magazine as a backdrop, Smith constructs astute social commentary with just a few simple elements.

Alexis Smith was born in 1949 in Los Angeles and lives in Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Irvine in 1970. Honor Fraser Gallery presented her solo exhibition Slice of Life in 2013. Her exhibition History in the Making at Garth Greenan Gallery in New York opens in October 2015. One person exhibitions of Alexis’s work have been mounted at The Athenaeum Music and Arts Library, La Jolla, CA (2015); The University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, WY (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2000); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (1997); J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA (1997); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (1991), and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (1991). Her work has been included in such thematic exhibitions as Drawing in L.A.: the 1960s and 70s, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2014); The Avant-Garde Collection, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2014); Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2011); elles@centrepompidou, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (2009); WACK!, Art and the Feminist Revolution, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; PS.1 Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (2007); Sunshine & Noir: Art in L.A. 1960-1997, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Hulebæk, Denmark (1997); and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (1981, 1979, 1975). Smith has completed several major public commissions, including a mural for the Las Vegas Central Library; terrazzo floors at the Jerome Schottenstien Center at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; a mixed media wall installation for The Restaurant at the Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA; and a site specific installation for The Stuart Collection, University of California, San Diego in La Jolla. Her work is included in the collections of public collections such as Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

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