A Remarkable Typeface Resurfaces from the Thames After Being Dumped in the River More Than a Century Ago
May 20, 2024
US city cancels artist’s residency over pro-Palestine painting
May 20, 2024
A Remarkable Typeface Resurfaces from the Thames After Being Dumped in the River More Than a Century Ago
May 20, 2024
US city cancels artist’s residency over pro-Palestine painting
May 20, 2024

Sable Elyse Smith—an interdisciplinary artist whose works in sculpture, video, painting, neon and more critique how power manifests in the US’s prison-industrial complex, education system and elsewhere—has won the latest iteration of the biannual Suzanne Deal Booth and Flag Art Foundation Prize.

The prize, administered by the titular New York-based foundation and The Contemporary Austin art space in the Texan capital, comes with $200,000, a solo exhibition to be presented at both venues, an accompanying publication and public programming. Smith’s resulting exhibition will open at The Contemporary Austin in 2026 before travelling to the Flag Art Foundation’s space in New York’s Chelsea gallery district.

“Sable is a prescient voice among her generation with a dynamic artistic background, and does not shy away from asking challenging questions,” says Suzanne Deal Booth, a trustee of The Contemporary Austin, who founded her namesake prize in 2016. “It’s an honour to play a role in celebrating artists who are at an inflection point in their careers, and to support them with the platform, tools and resources needed to access different communities and garner well-deserved exposure.”

Sable Elyse Smith, A Clockwork, 2021

Smith, who was born in Los Angeles and is based in New York, works across a range of media to highlight the insidious, sometimes seemingly innocuous ways that US systems of power and control are embedded in visual and material culture. Her Coloring Books series of paintings, for instance, magnifies the imagery in colouring books that are distributed to children whose family members have been affected by the prison system. She has also created a series of seemingly abstract, large-scale sculptures made from the generic furniture used in US prisons. For example, one of her contributions to the 2022 Whitney Biennial, A Clockwork (2021), resembles a ferris wheel composed of visiting-room tables and chairs.

In addition to the 2022 Whitney Biennial, Smith was featured in the central exhibition at that year’s Venice Biennale, curated by Cecilia Alemani, The Milk of Dreams, and in the 2020-21 MoMA PS1 exhibition Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration. Last year, she had a major solo show at Regen Projects in Los Angeles. In 2017-18, she had a solo exhibition, Ordinary Violence, at the Queens Museum. Smith is currently developing an operatic audio-visual project as part of the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Studio Sound series, which will debut in July.

Past winners of the Suzanne Deal Booth and Flag Art Foundation Prize include Lubaina Himid, Rodney McMillian, Nicole Eisenman and Tarek Atoui.

First appeared on…

Comments are closed.