Claude Smith

In my e-mail this morning:

Sebastopol, CA, May 31, 2013: RiskPress Gallery, in the West Sonoma County town of Sebastopol, hosts the work of artist Claude Smith in Words Fall Away – a solo exhibition that addresses the subject of written and spoken language, July 5-28, 2013.

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The artist’s statement:

Words Fall Away is an overview that spans 15 years of work (1998-2013) related to language, words written and spoken, unspoken and never written. The work emerged from open-ended experiments in non-verbal communication, not talking for days and days at a time, which were not done within the context of specially arranged silent meditation retreats or workshops but simply as a different way to move through my everyday life and activities. The experiments were also a visceral response to observing the pervasive use of language to manipulate and obfuscate regardless of form or context. To a greater extent though, I was very interested in a first-hand experience of what might happen internally and externally if I chose to stop speaking for moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks at a time.

Writing, drawing, scribbling and scrawling have always been an integral part of my life. This show is dedicated to my father, Sidney Smith, painter and calligrapher, who introduced me to beautiful writing and art-making in New York City in the early 1950’s. I would also like to thank master graphologists, Janice Klein and Roger Rubin, for their mentorship and friendship in the study of graphology [the study of handwriting] and more. And, finally, I’d like to thank all the musicians in my life who take me to places that only music can reveal.

(A longer bio is on his webpage.)

As you might have expected, this artist is not the only one with the name Claude Smith. There’s also an American cartoonist Claude Smith (1913-2003), who drew for the New Yorker (often with a golf theme) and Playboy (on, unsurprisingly, sexual themes), as in these two samples:

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Language doesn’t seem to have been much of a concern for this Claude Smith.

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