No Vacancy: Works by Roxa Smith

C24 Gallery

Mar. 23, 2024 - May. 11, 2023

560 West 24th St
New York, 10011
PHONE (646) 416-6300

We are excited to announce the opening of the first solo show by Roxa Smith at C24 Gallery, No Vacancy. The exhibition will open on Thursday evening, March 23rd and run through Thursday, May 11th. Join us for the opening reception on March 23rd, from 6:00-8:00pm.

Roxa Smith’s paintings and collages are color-filled meditations on the interior spaces and furnishings that symbolize experiences of family, culture and history. Smith has turned her plein air landscape painter’s eye indoors, to the rooms of her memory and imagination. She imbues her canvases with a sense of spaciousness that allows the eye to wander around a seemingly dense assortment of objects and furniture, as well as the views to the outside that she frequently includes in her compositions.

​In No Vacancy, although the rooms and spaces that Smith portrays are emptied of people, they are filled with layers of memories, feelings and associations. Born and raised in Venezuela, Smith also spent a great deal of her time growing up in a family home located in upstate New York. While her father’s roots are South American, her mother’s side of the family traces their ancestry back to passengers on the Mayflower. Thus her unique esthetic blends the colors and stylings of Latin American folk art and the antique furnishings that together informed her upbringing.

​Smith began painting her solitary chair series during the early days of the pandemic. Isolated from the rest of the world, she discovered a deeper symbolism in the chairs themselves, which connoted many presences in her life, both personal and historical. Sometimes they represented her family heritage, while other times they represented the general state of humanity. In their structure, they offer an opportunity to explore the need for balance amidst the chaos of unfolding events, as they tell stories about the seemingly endless changes and moods we’ve experienced over the last few years.

​Many of the rooms depicted in Smith’s paintings are based on familiar environments, but with the addition of multiple elements. As in the cutting and pasting together of her actual collages, she combines different objects, perspectives, and viewpoints to create full and vibrant portraits of spaces pulsing with meaning and feeling. Aesthetically, she is drawn to color as an antidote to what can often feel like pervasive darkness in the world at large. Her small, intimate paintings, as well as the newest works, adorned with hand-stitched embroidery to create extra texture and color, bring new dimension and complexity into compact spaces, reminding us of the depth and beauty that surrounds us.

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