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Josh Smith: Emo Jungle

The most comprehensive overview of artist Josh Smith’s radical technicolor paintings.

Josh Smith: Emo Jungle looks at the artist’s vigorous repetition of particular motifs, illuminating his approach to painting as an exploratory medium for image production. Published on the occasion of Smith’s critically acclaimed first exhibition at David Zwirner, this catalogue features a new body of work that marks an important evolution for the artist. In these paintings, Smith sets the stage for a new mode of self-reflective commentary on image making, acknowledging that “the meaning perhaps arises in the making.”

A new essay by curator Bob Nickas treats the Reaper, Turtle, and Devil figures from Emo Jungle as ciphers through which to understand Smith’s work. Nickas demonstrates how these new paintings re-stage and personalize the artist’s more abstract earlier works and illuminates the ways in which repetition functions within Smith’s practice. With more than one hundred illustrations, this book serves as the ideal introduction to Smith’s disruptive oeuvre.

"The visual deluge of this terrific if vexatious show meditates on painting as object, performance, psychic communication, pleasure and, yes, salable product."

– Roberta Smith, The New York Times

“Emo Jungle, Josh Smith’s inaugural exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery in New York City, resembles a retrospective in both size and organization.”

– Peter Malone, Hyperallergic

“Despite the artist’s steadfast refusal of meaning (or maybe because of it), his works remain likeable instances of painterly invention and possibility—even when his subjects spell doom and gloom.”

– Joseph R. Wolin, TimeOut

“Josh Smith, the...cavalier of painterly jazz, keeps 'em coming with well over a hundred fast, loose, hot-colored canvases.”

– Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker