Ray Smith: Here | Now


March 3 – May 5, 2013

When Ray Smith’s Gowanus studio was flooded by Hurricane Sandy, Mana Contemporary offered refuge to the internationally-recognized artist with studio space as well as restoration and safekeeping of his water-logged work.


The exhibition features more than 100 works from three decades by the prolific artist, highlighting key themes: a radical hybrid of Mexican-American culture, suggestive dichotomies, mystery within familiarity, Mexican muralism and Modernist traditions, and the spirit of collaboration within his practice.

The show, installed throughout several floors of gallery and performance space at Mana Contemporary, offers an enormous cross-sectional look at the artist’s lifestyle, his work, his studio, and his commitment to fellow artists as a peer and mentor.

On the sixth floor, in conjunction with The Eileen S. Kaminsky Family Foundation, Mana Contemporary presents Smith’s private collection, as well as works collected by his friend, anthropologist and art critic Francesco Pellizzi. On the fifth floor, a selection of large works bombards the viewer with the power of nature, including Tex-Rex (Ocean), 2006, which relates to Moses’ parting of the Red Sea. A series of paintings on the fourth floor, created in collaboration with G.T. Pellizzi, addresses the violent strife at the U.S.-Mexican border. On the second floor, visitors can see Smith’s artistic process in a re-creation of his Gowanus studio. Smith will invite emerging artists to work with him on a daily basis for the duration of the exhibition.


Born in Brownsville, Texas, in 1959, Ray Smith has exhibited internationally in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, France, Japan, and Mexico. His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico, among others. He currently divides his time between New York, Mexico, and Texas.


Press Release

Kendall Tichner