Hannah Smith: Home Style
Hannah Smith is a Kentucky-based artist who creates sculptures and installations that merge Pop Art references and assemblage strategies with a rebellious punk attitude. Employing recognizable imagery and unconventional materials, Smith has developed a playful and unpretentious art practice that offers a complex vision of society, where flashy objects reveal themselves to be gaudy, cheap, and even a little bit grimy. In a style that could be described as "abject Americana," her work suggests the way in which blue collar aesthetics can embody political and social ideologies of discontent. Smith's past exhibitions featured tiny Astroturf landscapes with roadside attractions flickering false promises, lightboxes gradually shifting in color like radioactive sunsets, and vinyl decals of daisies sprouting from giant Band-Aids. Sourcing light from animated LED circuits, fiberoptics, and electroluminescent wire, and wrapping power cords in denim fabric, her constructions read as neon-hued distortions of contemporary life. In Homestyle Smith further develops her coded iconography, mining the material culture of her working-class background: "I am interested in presenting a vision of middle America that exposes the ways in which capitalism exploits our very basic humanness: our desires, our dreams, and our love." Her sculptures take the form of empty fast-food baskets, oversized ornamental tassels that spin erratically, and miniaturized signs illuminating seedy motels -- abstracted versions of low cost and accessible commodities that saturate our everyday surroundings. But look past their blinking lights and metallic veneer and the face of a snarling dog emerges, a symbol, for Smith, of the underlying aggression that accompanies the failure of the American Dream for a large sector of the working population for whom social mobility remains elusive.
Company / Organization
2nd Story is a curatorial space for creative risk-taking, artistic collaboration, and innovative thinking within the visual arts. We empower artists to create new work that stretches the conceptual and formal boundaries of their practice, and we present exhibitions, talks, and educational programs that contribute to the cultural vitality of Lexington and beyond. We are committed to a nimble organizational infrastructure that is responsive to artists who are exploring new ideas and evolving processes, and to a rigorous curatorial platform that situates artists' work within current and art historical dialogues.
522 West Short Street
Hours of Operation
Tuesday - Friday: 1 to 5 pm Alternative hours, anytime: call 608.334.4049 to pop in