Josh Smith - New Now London Tuesday, July 13, 2021 | Phillips

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  • 'I try to make my work so that it’ll appeal to a lot of different people: kids and adults. I want people to look at my work and understand exactly how it was made. I mean, ’cause you can see all the brushstrokes.'
    —Josh Smith
    Executed in 2014, Untitled portrays an idyllic scene of palm trees swaying in the sunset on an island. This work on panel was exhibited as part of a solo show, Unsolved Mystery at Massimo De Carlo reflecting on Josh Smith’s practice of painting, on the role of the artist and the purpose of art in itself. Bright in hues of orange, pink and yellow, the details of the work stands out through accents of darker silhouettes, drawing the viewer into its depth and seductive ambiance.


    This work pertains to the palm tree series of where bizarre landscapes, the tide of the sea and the position of the sun seem to stop the ticking of time. Josh Smith’s thick brushstrokes seem to create a narrative yet when looking closer, the arena set is nothing more than a backdrop for the ambiguous where natural elements pose as symbols of familiarity.


    Palm trees serve as icons, recognisable and synonymous with holidays and an emblem for relaxation. The artist however uses this imagery as a pattern to be reproduced in infinity throughout this series as a means of tying the presence of the artist to the canvas. Through the medium, the painterly technique and the pattern, Josh Smith constructs a dialogue between the seriality and linearity of forms, dimensions and the importance of the artistic process.

    • Provenance

      Massimo De Carlo, Milan
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Milan, Massimo De Carlo, Josh Smith, Unsolved Mystery, 28 March - 15 May 2014



signed and dated 'JOSH SMITH 2014' on the reverse
oil on wooden panel
152.4 x 121.9 cm (60 x 47 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2014.

Full Cataloguing

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £214,200

Contact Specialist

Simon Tovey
Head of New Now Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

New Now

London Auction 13 July 2021