Bale Variant #0021

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    David Castillo Gallery, Miami

  • Exhibited

    Los Angeles, California African American Museum, Shinique Smith: Refuge, March 14 - September 9, 2018

  • Catalogue Essay

    Born 1971, Baltimore, MD
    Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY

    2003 MFA Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
    2000 MA, Tufts University, Medford, MA
    1992 BFA, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

    Selected honors: Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Biennial Award (2016); Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship (2008); New York Foundation for the Arts, Gregory Millard Fellowship in Sculpture (2007); Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture Fellowship (2003)
    Selected museum exhibitions: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville
    Selected public collections: Denver Art Museum; Brooklyn Museum, New York; The Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

    In 2005, Shinique Amie Smith was among the 35 artists chosen for The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Frequency, an exhibition that continued the tradition of identifying a new generation of black artists that the museum had initiated nearly five years earlier with the groundbreaking show Freestyle. Exhibited next to the work of other emerging artists such as Nick Cave, Xaviera Simmons and Hank Willis Thomas, Shinique’s bale sculpture composed of second-hand clothing gained her critical attention. Ever since, she has made installations incorporating materials collected from communities and thrift shops, notably clothes, but also toys and other ephemera.

    “I think my work is very American, and the way we consume and cast off is unique to us,” said Smith, who was inspired to make sculpture from clothing after reading an article of how a shirt given by a woman in Manhattan to a local thrift store, made its way to a bale of used clothing and eventually was bought in Africa. While retaining the associations, Smith subsumes the material into a composition by tying the textiles together in cubes, bundles and dense assemblages. She describes her process as a personal one: “It all begins with emotion, an expression and I allow myself to go on a journey in the making of each work, a journey of associations between object and color, between lyrics and fabric, between the viewer and me.” Exploring the connections and values we ascribe to objects, Smith addresses questions of abstraction, all the while probing how her material has both personal meaning, as well as social and cultural significance.


Bale Variant #0021

clothing, fabric, objects, wrapping paper and ribbon
84 x 27 x 27 in. (213.4 x 68.6 x 68.6 cm.)
Executed in 2011.

Estimate on Request



New York Selling Exhibition 10 January - 8 February 2019