Goya Contemporary Gallery

Jo Smail: Bees with Sticky Feet

Jo Smail: Bees with Sticky Feet

Jo Smail

For more than 40 years, Jo Smail (b. 1943, Durban, South Africa) has created powerful works that intertwine the poignant language of expressive colors and abstract forms with the essence of poetics to convey the eccentricity, vulnerability, and complex beauty of her narrative. Mixing diverse cultural and biographical influences as multifarious as her life experiences, Smail draws upon aspects of her African past and Baltimore present, alongside a deep engagement with international literature, theory, and art history. The exhibition “Bees with Sticky Feet” features over 30 prints that highlight the complexities of Smail’s amalgamated imagery which reflects not only her expertise in composition, but also underscore the joyful, brilliant, and precarious aspects of her practice. The works in this exhibition are included in the artist’s newly released book "Flying with Remnant Wings" which echoes the long-standing influence linguistics has played on her creation of pictorial space.

Image Credit:

Detail of Jo Smail "Mongrel Person" 2020, 24.5 x 23.5 inches

Jo Smail

Bees with Sticky Feet

2020

24.5 x 23.5 inches

Archival pigment print

Edition of 5. Signed, titled, dated verso

$1,800 Unframed

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Jo Smail

Tickle It, Poke It

2020

24.5 x 23.5 inches

Archival pigment print

Edition of 5. Signed, titled, dated verso

$1,800 Unframed

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Installation view at Goya Contemporary Gallery

Jo Smail

The Shower

2020

24.5 x 23.5 inches

Archival pigment print

Edition of 5. Signed, titled, dated verso

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Jo Smail

Memories Pile Up

2020

24.5 x 23.5 inches

Archival pigment print

Edition of 5. Signed, titled, dated verso

$1,800 Unframed

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Jo Smail in her studio. Photo: © Regina DeLuise

Jo Smail

Salvaging Flowers

2020

24.5 x 23.5 inches

Archival pigment print

Edition of 5. Signed, titled, dated verso

$1,800 Unframed

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Jo Smail

Butterfly Eyes

2020

24.5 x 23.5 inches

Archival pigment print

Edition of 5. Signed, titled, dated verso

$1,800 Unframed

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Installation view at Goya Contemporary Gallery

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Getting Strength Looking Back

Jo Smail

2020

24.5 x 23.5 inches

Archival pigment print

Edition of 5. Signed, titled, dated verso

$1,800 Unframed

Jo Smail

We Dream Thinking Backwards

2020

24.5 x 23.5 inches

Archival pigment print

Edition of 5. Signed, titled, dated verso

$1,800 Unframed

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -
9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Jo Smail

The Caress

2020

24.5 x 23.5 inches

Archival pigment print

Edition of 5. Signed, titled, dated verso

$1,800 Unframed

Jo Smail

The Alhambra

2020

24.5 x 23.5 inches

Archival pigment print

Edition of 5. Signed, titled, dated verso

$1,800 Unframed

9 EvB- Artwork 9 (Gachet) (Portraits) -

Baltimore-based, South African artist Jo Smail (b. 1943, Durban), is celebrated world-wide for her abstract paintings, drawings, collages, and prints, frequently composed through multiple states of material accruals, subtractions, and modifications. Educated in South Africa at Johannesburg College of Art (1978 & 1975) and the University of Natal, Durban (1963), Smail moved to Baltimore in 1985. She taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art from 1988-2017 , where she is now Professor Emeritus.

Formal exploration as well as invention derive from the artist's personal history - delving into the past and the present with equal weight. Influenced by Apartheid, a devastating studio fire (1995), a life-altering stroke (2000), the socio-political content of personal effects, the natural world, and art history, Smail's artwork has been the subject of myriad exhibitions with reviews printed in The New York Times, Art in America, The Hudson Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Art Forum, Hyperallergic, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, among others. Smail has been the subject of a number of publications, books and catalogue with contributions by top scholars such as Terence Maloon and Karen Wilkin. In 2020 her 144-page artist book titled “Flying with Remnant Wings” was released by Goya Contemporary and includes original poems, essays, and images.

Smail has been the recipient of numerous accolades, awards, and residencies including the Trawick Sapphire Prize; multiple Arts Council Awards; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Fellowship; Rochefort-en-Terre fellowship in France; a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant; and nomination for "Anonymous was a Woman." Smail is represented in private and public collections internationally including: Baltimore Museum of Art; US Embassy, Johannesburg; Chase Manhattan Bank in Johannesburg & New York; Durban Museum; University of the Witwatersrand; Johannesburg Art Museum; Johns Hopkins University Collection; Mobil Corporation Art Collection; National Gallery of South Africa; Pretoria Art Museum; the Cleveland Clinic, among many more. Formerly represented by Goodman Gallery in South Africa, for the last 20 years Smail has been represented by Goya Contemporary Gallery in Baltimore. For many years Smail has also collaborated with fellow South African artist William Kentridge. In March of 2020, the artist opened her first major one-woman retrospective exhibition at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Full Biography

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Goya Contemporary Gallery

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