Shinique Smith: No Dust, No Stain

Curated by Sara Reisman

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 7 from 4-6pm
Exhibition Dates: October 7 – November 11, 2006
Gallery Hours: Monday – Saturday, 12-5:30pm
Location: 120 Essex Street (inside Essex Street Market)

No Dust, No Stain is Shinique Smith’s sculptural homage to the range of meditative spiritual practices that connect seemingly disparate religions of the world. Installed in Cuchifritos Gallery in the Essex Street Market, Smith’s assemblage of everyday materials like carpet, clothes, graffiti, coins, and found ephemera conjures a hybrid between the street and sacred space, like the ad hoc living quarters that emerge intermittently throughout urban landscapes. The artist’s first interactive sculptural installation, No dust, no stain is an inquiry into possible modes of participation in both spiritual and commodity exchanges. The exhibition’s location in the Essex Street Market superimposes these two reciprocal activities, drawing associations between religion and money.

Smith’s recent series of Bale Variants (2005–2006) are structures made out of clothing, twine, and wood that reference the overabundance of textiles – clothing in particular – throughout the first world. Named for the bales of clothing shipped to third world countries, these works are monuments to the excess and loss experienced within the global economy. These works, as well as the bundled objects constructed from cast off material that Smith is best known for, take formal cues from her paintings and drawings, which are often penned directly onto the wall. No dust, no stain combines Smith’s approaches to various mediums – drawing, collage, sculpture, and installation – to immerse viewers in a space where beauty can be found in the balance between aesthetics and reprieve.

Shinique Smith is a New York-based artist who has had solo exhibitions at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, The Proposition in New York, the Creative Alliance, Baltimore, Maryland, and Scuola dell’Arte dei Tiraoro e Battioro, Venice, Italy. Recent group shows include Frequency and African Queen both at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Do You Think I’m Disco at the Longwood Arts Project in the Bronx, and The Reality of Things at Triple Candie, among many others. Smith has had residencies at the Henry Street Settlement and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Studio Program, received an Emerge Fellowship from Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, and studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting. Smith earned her MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art where she now teaches painting.


Cuchifritos is a program of Artists Alliance Inc. This exhibit is sponsored in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and through the generous support of the following: The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The New York City Economic Development Corporation, The Puffin Foundation, the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, and the members of the Artists Alliance Inc.