NADA Miami / Chicago 2020

On I-55

Dr. Charles Smith

in collaboration with Good Weather

December 01, 2020 — January 06, 2021

View Exhibition Details

<p><span class="name">Dr. Charles Smith</span><br><em>Gordon Parks (Series)</em><span class='media'>Concrete, paint, mixed media</span>34 x 13 x 8 in (86.4 x 33 x 20.3 cm)<br>1986<br><a class='inquire' href='mailto:info@gildargallery.com?subject=Artwork Inquiry DSMI0001&body=I am interested in finding out more about Gordon Parks (Series) by Dr. Charles Smith'>Inquire</a></p>
<p><span class="name">Dr. Charles Smith</span><br><em>Twins of the Hurricane (1)</em><span class='media'>Concrete, paint, mixed media</span>38 x 14 x 11 in (96.5 x 35.6 x 27.9 cm)<br>2002<br><a class='inquire' href='mailto:info@gildargallery.com?subject=Artwork Inquiry DSMI0002&body=I am interested in finding out more about Twins of the Hurricane (1) by Dr. Charles Smith'>Inquire</a></p>
<p><span class="name">Dr. Charles Smith</span><br><em>Twins of the Hurricane (2)</em><span class='media'>Concrete, paint, mixed media</span>38 x 15 x 14 in (96.5 x 38.1 x 35.6 cm)<br>2002<br><a class='inquire' href='mailto:info@gildargallery.com?subject=Artwork Inquiry DSMI0003&body=I am interested in finding out more about Twins of the Hurricane (2) by Dr. Charles Smith'>Inquire</a></p>
<p><span class="name">Dr. Charles Smith</span><br><em>The Nigerian Princess (Nefertiti Series)</em><span class='media'>Concrete, paint, mixed media</span>32 x 11 x 13 in (81.3 x 27.9 x 33 cm)<br>1991<br><a class='inquire' href='mailto:info@gildargallery.com?subject=Artwork Inquiry DSMI0004&body=I am interested in finding out more about The Nigerian Princess (Nefertiti Series) by Dr. Charles Smith'>Inquire</a></p>
<p><span class="name">Dr. Charles Smith</span><br><em>Inseparable</em><span class='media'>Concrete, paint, mixed media</span>39.5 x 12 x 16 in (100.3 x 30.5 x 40.6 cm)<br>Edition of Natalie Cole Series<br>1984<br><a class='inquire' href='mailto:info@gildargallery.com?subject=Artwork Inquiry DSMI0005&body=I am interested in finding out more about Inseparable by Dr. Charles Smith'>Inquire</a></p>
<p><span class="name">Dr. Charles Smith</span><br><em>Marcus Garvey</em><span class='media'>Concrete, paint, mixed media</span>29 x 16 x 11 in (73.7 x 40.6 x 27.9 cm)<br>1986<br><a class='inquire' href='mailto:info@gildargallery.com?subject=Artwork Inquiry DSMI0007&body=I am interested in finding out more about Marcus Garvey by Dr. Charles Smith'>Inquire</a></p>
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Dr. Charles Smith
Gordon Parks (Series)Concrete, paint, mixed media34 x 13 x 8 in (86.4 x 33 x 20.3 cm)
1986
Inquire

×

Dr. Charles Smith
Twins of the Hurricane (1)Concrete, paint, mixed media38 x 14 x 11 in (96.5 x 35.6 x 27.9 cm)
2002
Inquire

×

Dr. Charles Smith
Twins of the Hurricane (2)Concrete, paint, mixed media38 x 15 x 14 in (96.5 x 38.1 x 35.6 cm)
2002
Inquire

×

Dr. Charles Smith
The Nigerian Princess (Nefertiti Series)Concrete, paint, mixed media32 x 11 x 13 in (81.3 x 27.9 x 33 cm)
1991
Inquire

×

Dr. Charles Smith
InseparableConcrete, paint, mixed media39.5 x 12 x 16 in (100.3 x 30.5 x 40.6 cm)
Edition of Natalie Cole Series
1984
Inquire

×

Dr. Charles Smith
Marcus GarveyConcrete, paint, mixed media29 x 16 x 11 in (73.7 x 40.6 x 27.9 cm)
1986
Inquire

Gildar and Good Weather are honored to collaborate on an episodic series of encounters with the sculptures of Dr. Charles Smith, coinciding with NADA Miami’s online and decentralized art fair from December 1–5, 2020. These different engagements trace the migratory path of the artist from New Orleans to Chicago along the I-55 corridor between the two sites of his historically significant African American Heritage Museum and Black Veterans Archive.

The self-taught Dr. Smith has constructed two densely populated and highly developed outdoor installations over the past thirty-five years. Spanning a thousand miles, Dr. Smith’s sculptural environments provoke a monumental scale within their residential settings. Situated among neighboring houses, congregations of painted concrete figures gather among existing structures and form a uniquely vernacular architecture. Each site, viewed en masse, presents an impressive and idiosyncratic cosmology of personal and collective histories of inequity, violence, achievement, and survival. As individual objects, Dr. Smith’s sculptures display a wide range of formal and human complexity. Built for the outdoors, the artist embraces the “weatherization” which transforms the work over time and reveals each sculpture’s “inner soul” whilst it becomes a living artifact. 

The two locations of Dr. Smith’s African American Heritage Museum and Black Veterans Archive are intrinsically linked to the artist’s life experiences. Born in 1940 in New Orleans, Dr. Smith grew up in the Jim Crow-era South, before his mother moved the family north to the Maxwell Street District of Chicago in 1955—a culturally important year which saw that generation’s Civil Rights Movement galvanized by the brutal murder of Emmett Till (Dr. Smith, around the same age as Emmett Till, visited his public funeral at Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ) and the dawn of the Vietnam War (a conflict into which Dr. Smith was eventually drafted as a member of the US Marine Corps).

Deeply affected by these experiences and following a prophetic vision, Dr. Smith began working on his first site in the early 1980’s at his home in Aurora Township outside Chicago. A large portion of this site’s free-standing sculptures were acquired by the Kohler Art Foundation in 2001. In 2005, he returned South and expanded his life’s work: purchasing a house in Hammond, Louisiana and creating a second site through which he continues to develop his ambitious work.

Good Weather and Gildar initiated this project on November 22, 2020—the artist’s 80th birthday—with a site visit to the original location in Aurora Township to meet the artist’s longtime friends and advocates and learn through a first-person perspective about the development and reception of Dr. Smith’s artwork. Continuing in Hammond, Louisiana on November 25, 2020, the galleries convened with the artist to collect work and hear detailed stories about the seven sculptures that make up this exhibition. The sculptures then traveled through five states and to several significant locations before landing in Chicago where they will be presented for the final seven weeks of an exhibition aptly titled Dr. Charles Smith: On I-55.

 

More About the Artist

 

Dr. Charles Smith (b.1940, New Orleans, Louisiana) is a self-taught artist in Louisiana who is renowned for his two large-scale outdoor sculptural sites titled The African American Heritage Museum and Black Veterans Archive. Discrete sculptural works by Dr. Smith from these sites are part of the Kohler Art Foundation’s collection, a selection of which is currently on display in the exhibition Aurora at the Kohler Arts Center. Dr. Smith’s sculptures are also part of other major collections, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Joslyn Art Museum, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Forthcoming, Dr. Smith’s work will be a key part of the Kohler Art Center’s Art Preserve in Sheboygan, Wisconsin opening on June 26, 2021.

*See works as part of NADA Miami from Dec 1–Dec 5, 2020

 

** Schedule an in-person Exhibition Viewing in Chicago

desk@goodweathergallery.com

 

Follow the journey between Dr. Smith’s art environments online

@gildargallery and @goodweathr

 

Selected Works

  • Dr. Charles Smith
    Gordon Parks (Series)Concrete, paint, mixed media34 x 13 x 8 in (86.4 x 33 x 20.3 cm)
    1986
    Inquire

  • Dr. Charles Smith
    Twins of the Hurricane (1)Concrete, paint, mixed media38 x 14 x 11 in (96.5 x 35.6 x 27.9 cm)
    2002
    Inquire

  • Dr. Charles Smith
    Twins of the Hurricane (2)Concrete, paint, mixed media38 x 15 x 14 in (96.5 x 38.1 x 35.6 cm)
    2002
    Inquire

  • Dr. Charles Smith
    The Nigerian Princess (Nefertiti Series)Concrete, paint, mixed media32 x 11 x 13 in (81.3 x 27.9 x 33 cm)
    1991
    Inquire

  • Dr. Charles Smith
    InseparableConcrete, paint, mixed media39.5 x 12 x 16 in (100.3 x 30.5 x 40.6 cm)
    Edition of Natalie Cole Series
    1984
    Inquire

  • Dr. Charles Smith
    Marcus GarveyConcrete, paint, mixed media29 x 16 x 11 in (73.7 x 40.6 x 27.9 cm)
    1986
    Inquire