Published on the occasion of Richard Smith's solo exhibition Kite Paintings at Flowers Gallery, New York, this publication includes full colour reproductions of Smith's groundbreaking Kite works of the 1970s and 80s.
Smith gained critical acclaim for extending the boundaries of painting into three dimensions, creating sculptural shaped canvases with monumental presence. Literally protruding into the gallery, the contoured structures radically altered the spatial qualities of his painting, exploring a newfound tension between volume, colour and surface.
A reversal of the relationship between the canvas and its support took place in the early 1970s, when Smith replaced the bulky stretchers with visible lightweight wooden struts. Strings were used to tie and stretch the canvas to its supports and to suspend the paintings from the wall or ceiling, achieving a tautness and levity such as that of a kite.
Smith’s Kite paintings worked to redefine notions of the ‘edge’ of painting, as the artist rejected the limitations of the traditional rectangular canvas support. Drawn edge and physical edge are combined and allocated equal weight in Smith’s examination of the surface, revealing a new visual language of representation.
The catalogue includes an essay by American art historian and critic Barbara Rose, who wrote the catalogue for Smith’s seminal Seven Exhibitions 1961 - 75 at Tate Modern, London.