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 Sable Elyse Smith
Sable Elyse Smith
Assistant Professor of Sculpture & Extended Media
Profile

Sable Elyse Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and educator based in Richmond & New York. Using video, sculpture, photography, and text, she points to the carceral, the personal, the political, and the quotidian to speak about a violence that is largely unseen, and potentially imperceptible. Her work examines the complex language and emotional landscapes embedded in systems of surveillance and structures of constraint, and the often invisible ways that they shape our minds and direct our bodies. Her work has been featured at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Ps1, New Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, SIGNAL Gallery, Rachel Uffner Gallery, and Recess Assembly, New York; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and Artist Television Access, San Francisco, CA; Birkbeck Cinema in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries, London. Her writing has been published in Radical Teacher, Studio Magazine, and Affidavit and she is currently working on her first book. Smith has received awards from Creative Capital, Fine Arts Work Center, the Queens Museum, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Rema Hort Mann Foundation, the Franklin Furnace Fund, and Art Matters.

Solo Exhibitions

2018

Ordinary Violence, Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University. Curated by Emilia Layden.

TBD , JTT, New York, NY (forthcoming)

CONDO London, JTT hosted by greengrassi and Corvi-Mora , greengrassi & Corvi-Mora,

London, England

How We Tell Stories to Children, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA

2017

Ordinary Violence, Queens Museum, Queens, NY

And then the street lights–like a warning bell, Recess Assembly, Brooklyn, NY

2015

Blue is Ubiquitous and Forbidden, SOHO20 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions + Screenings

2018

Agora, The High Line, New York, NY (forthcoming)

Walls Turned Sideways: Artist Confront the American Justice System, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Houston, TX. Curated by Risa Puleo (forthcoming)

2017

Glass Ceiling: Art of Resilience and Fragility, Agnes Varis Art Center, Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Osman

Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, New Museum, New York, NY. Curated by Johanna Burton.

Fictions, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY. Curated by Hallie Ringle & Connie Choi.

Dear Watchers in the Shadows, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL

Other Romances, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY. Curated by Em Rooney.

Elaine, let’s get the hell out of here,” Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York, NY. Curated by

Ashton Cooper.

Memory is a Tough Place, Kellen Galleries at The New School, New York, NY. Curated by Macushla Robinson

UPTOWN: nasty women/bad hombres, EL Museo Del Barrio, New York, NY. Curated by Rocio

Aranda-Alvarado.

Watchlist, SIGNAL, Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Goedele Bartholomeeusen & Kat Herriman.

Your Body is a Battleground: VOLTA 2017 , VOLTA NY, New York, NY. Curated by Wendy Vogel

The Exposed Suture, Rond-Point Projects, Marseille, France. Curated by Natasha Marie Llorens

Who Gets To Look, UC Irvine Galleries , Irvine, CA. Curated by Virginia Arche

Without a Body, Andrea Rosen Gallery 2 , New York, NY. Curated by SIGNAL

2016

Emerging Arts Fellowship Exhibition 2016, Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens NY

With Liberty and (in)Justice For All?, Gateway Project Spaces, Newark, NJ

Partner in Crime, Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

Focus on the Funk: Journeys, Serpentine Gallery & Birbeck College, London England

Over the Wall, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA

Comrade What is Your Visual Bond? Sunday Sessions: Screening, MoMA PS1, New York, NY

History As I Know It, On the Ground Floor Gallery , Los Angeles, CA

2015

La Lucha II Dom & Haiti Visions of Tomorrow, Andrew Freedman Home, Bronx, NY

Dis Place, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, NY

Inherited, BRIC, Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Hallie Ringle.

Consequential Translations, Centro Cultural de Espana, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

RESPOND, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY

2013

Gaze Series #5: Transgressions, Artist Television Access , San Francisco, CA

Present Futures, The Mandrake, Los Angeles, CA 

Performances + Readings

 2018

Performing Fictions, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

2017

LANDSCAPES & PLAYGROUNDS Book Launch, Recess Assembly, Brooklyn, NY

2016

Artist Love Poets, The Poetry Project, New York, NY

The Listening Party, MoMA Pop Rally, New York, NY

Sable Elyse Smith & Camel Collective, The Poetry Project, New York, NY

Reading & Launch Selfish Magazine: Issue 3, Over the Eight, Brooklyn, NY

2015

Mirror/Echo/Tilt, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture: New York, New York, NY

Reading: Blue is Ubiquitous and Forbidden, SOHO20 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Sifting, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, NY

“AUNTSforcamera” Artist-Devised Tour, New Museum, New York, NY 

2014

Heart, Voice, Song: Three Meeting Performances, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY

Fallow Time: Movement Research Festival: Through Body, Through Earth, Through Speech,

Queens Museum, New York, NY

2013

Dissident Futures Art and Ideals Festival, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Through Body, Through Earth, Through Speech, Eyebeam, New York, NY

Performative Reading Event for Daily Violence with Huong Ngo, The Window at 125, New York, NY 

2012

The Future is Fantastic (If You Want It), New Museum, New York, NY

Grants and Fellowships

2018
Studio Museum in Harlem Artist-in-Residence Program

2017
Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant
Recess Art: ASSEMBLY Residency
The Fountainhead Residency

2016
NYSCA Individual Artist Program in Film and Media
Fine Arts Work Center Fellow
Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant
Queens Museum Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Artist
Recess Art: Critical Writing Fellow Emerging Artist Fellowship
Socrates Sculpture Park Creative Capital Fellow

2015 Art Matters

Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art

Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture

Presentations

2017

Visiting Artist Lecture. November 16, 2017. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Radical Edits: Reassessing Cultural Narratives: Panel w/ Alexandra Bell, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, DOUZE, Devin N. Morris. November 12, 2017. MoMA Ps1, New York. NY

The Kitchen L.A.B Conference: Position: Panel w/ Claudia Rankine, Casey Llewellyn, Will Rawls

Moderated by Katy Dammers. April 15, 2017. The Kitchen, New York, NY

Container : Panel w/ Akil Kumarasamy, Philip Matthews, Jagdeep Raina, Aaron Richmond, Victoria Udondian. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

Performing History: Talk + Panel w/ Steffani Jemison, Samson Kambalu, Illana Harris-Babou Moderated by Massa Lemu. March 23-24, 2017. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

2016

Why Explicit?: Panel w/ Lorraine O’Grady & Sondra Perry, in conjunction with Ellen Cantor

Exhibitions. Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, New York, NY

Afrofuturism Conference 2016: #BLACKISVIRAL: Panel: Hyper Visibility of the Black Image w/ Caitlin Cherry & Devin Kenny, The New School, New York, NY

In Conversation w/Shaun Leonardo, March 23, 2016, BRIC, New York, NY

Comrade What is Your Visual Bond? Sunday Sessions: Panel, MoMA PS1, New York, NY 

2015

“New Museum R&D Seminar: Persona,” Selected Participant, New Museum, New York, NY

“ Dis Place: Artist Talk,” The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, NY

“I Can’t Breath: Conversation w/ Shaun Leonardo Moderated by Kimberly Drew,” August 14, 2015. BRIC, Brooklyn, NY

2014

“In Conversation: Ayana Jackson and Monique Long,” Michael Steinberg Fine Art, New York, NY

“Subtleties of Resistance” Free University at Kara Walker’s "A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar

Baby" In dialogue with Nicole Fleetwood, New York, NY 

2012

Panel Participant: “It Is All Here.” Memories Can’t Wait. December 14, 2012. The International Center for Photography, New York, NY.

Publications
Articles

2018

“ Sound Machine ,” Article, CULTURED Magazine.

2017

LANDSCAPES & PLAYGROUNDS, Sming Sming Books.

“The Sound is the Picture,” Affidavit

2016

“Artist Profile: Devin Kenny,” Rhizome.org.

“Devein Kenny: Love, The Sinner,” Studio Museum Blog. The Studio Museum in Harlem

“Ecstatic Resilience,” Essay, Recess Art (online).

“Blue is Ubiquitous and Forbidden,” Story, Selfish Magazine.

“Studio Visit: Troy Michie,” Article, Studio Magazine. The Studio Museum in Harlem

2015

“Sadie Barnette,” Article, No Tofu Magazine. No Tofu Media.

“Studio Visit: niv Acosta,” Article, Studio Magazine. The Studio Museum in Harlem

2014

“Performing Prison: The Art of Incarceration,” Article, Studio Magazine. Studio Museum in Harlem

"Pattie Jordan," Interview, No Tofu Magazine. No Tofu Media.

"Orange is Two Shades of Gray," Essay, No Tofu Magazine. No Tofu Media.

Education
M.F.A., Parsons The New School for Design 2013
Design and Technology
B.A., Oglethorpe University 2011
Studio Art & Film
Contact Information
116 Visual Arts Building