Josh Smith

b. 1976

"Turtle," 2019

Oil on panel
Signed and dated verso: Josh Smith; titled on a label affixed verso; inscribed, in another hand, verso: JSP19103
48" H x 36" W

  • Provenance: David Zwirner, New York, London, Hong Kong (SMIJO0749)
  • Exhibited: New York, David Zwirner Gallery, "Josh Smith: Emo Jungle," April 25 - July 19, 2019
  • Notes: Colorful, bold, and gestural, Josh Smith's paintings are readily recognizable. He frequently creates in series, perhaps a nod to his early career as a printmaker. The present piece, "Turtle," is among the many subjects the artist has handled iteratively. This 2019 work features a hybrid creature with features reminiscent of a bird and crustacean. The round abdomen of the being, enhanced by a patchwork of color, alludes to the patterning on the shell of a tortoise. Vaguely abstract and yet decidedly figural, Josh Smith's pastiche of animal forms is a vehicle by which to emphasize the materiality of the paint surface and the liminal space between high art and kitsch. By painting in large format, Smith further interrogates venerable taste and the merits of the long-esteemed medium. In a recent interview, Josh Smith explained his artistic practice: "I'm trying to make the worst thing possible. You might like it so much that you hate it because it defeats your preconceived notions of what Modernism is." Josh Smith was born in Okinawa, where his father was stationed in the United States Army. His family moved regularly throughout his childhood, eventually settling in Tennessee. He later pursued a BFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and undertook additional coursework at Miami University in Ohio. Smith has lived and operated his studio in New York City since 1998. Josh Smith's prolific output extends to sculpture, printmaking, collage, and book production. He is known for broad experimentation in medium and style and revisits themes over time. Motifs such as his abstracted name, Palm Trees, or the Grim Reaper are examples of elements reappearing throughout his oeuvre, often over decades. This approach to artmaking allows him to examine the implications of developing a distinct style and later witnessing its commerciality in the market. Smith's work is held in numerous international public collections, including The Broad, Los Angeles; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Musée d'art Contemporain de Montréal; The Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
  • Condition: Visual: Good condition.

    Blacklight: No evidence of restoration.


Accepted Forms of Payment:

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


Shipping. As a courtesy to buyers, Moran provides a list of preferred shippers who are in the business of transporting antiques and works of art. Buyers are responsible for arranging their own shipping estimates and deliveries. Moran, in its sole discretion and as a courtesy to buyers, may arrange to have purchased lots packed, insured, and forwarded by a third-party shipper at the request, expense, and risk of the buyer. In circumstances where Moran arranges for such third-party services, Moran may apply an administration charge of 15% of that service fee. Moran assumes no responsibility for acts or omissions in such packing or shipping by other packers or carriers, even if recommended by Moran. Moran also assumes no responsibility for any damage to picture frames or to the glass therein.

November 1, 2022 12:00 PM PDT
Monrovia, CA, US

John Moran Auctioneers

You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 25% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 $199,999 $10,000
$200,000 $499,999 $25,000
$500,000 + $50,000