Fredericks & Freiser is pleased to announce Midnight in the Empire, an exhibition of new work by Zak Smith. Smith combines precise attention to detail and a razor-edged graphic intensity with an omnivorous eye that vacuums up influences as far-flung as comic-book realism, abstract expressionism, Japanese printmaking, and Persian miniature painting. With an intricate visual energy, Smith re-casts this preternaturally absorbing mixture into a seamless whole.
Midnight in the Empire features compulsively dense abstract works, a grab bag of drawings and paintings on different subjects, as well as the latest installments of "Girls In The Naked Girl Business"--Smith's ongoing series of portraits of acquaintances and friends in the sex industry. The exhibition also includes "Drawings I Did Around The Time I Became A Porn Star"--a sprawling autobiographical series of sketches recording Smith's days and nights working as "male talent" in the adult film industry. In Spring 2009, Tin House Books will publish this wall-size work under the title We Made Porn along with 300 pages of Smith's written observations on those experiences.
In our back gallery we will be showing They Fought A Running Engagement--featuring two of Smith's ongoing collaborations with other artists. The first is "On The Road Of Knives"--a hyperactive game-like work of battling monsters in which Smith, Nicholas DiGenova and Shawn Cheng each create an individual work on paper in response to a previous "move" by their fellow artist. In the second work, Smith and Cheng join Sean McCarthy, John Mejias, Craig Taylor, and Matt Wiegle to form "Six Versions of Blood Meridian."