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Linda Smith is an American artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.  Linda grew up in NYC, she first studied Fine Art at SUNY, then she received her MFA at NYU in Film. Linda moved to Los Angeles, and she began to paint and exhibit in California.  "My work is inspired by my daily life, a mix of relationships with people, cats and dogs, along with inspiration from art history from the early Greeks to more contemporary art . I am really influenced by Picasso, Leger and Matisse, and of course Viola Frey, Robert Arneson and the Funk movement up in Northern California."  


Smith started to work in Ceramics, and presently work with clay and glazes creating ceramic sculpture since 1996. " It’s an exciting medium. I love to explore with color patterns and shape, using my imagination, Whether it be in painting, prints, mosaics or sculpture my imagination takes over. Art is basic to my life, and it gives it joy, struggle and meaning."  Linda has many exhibitions and won numerous art awards, some of them are Honorable Mention, President’s Show in 2005, The American Ceramic Society - Second Place Award, President’s Show, ”Extreme Clay” American Ceramic Society, at AMOCA, Pomona, CA in 2007, Juror's Choice Award, "Woman with Tattoos" (2015, ceramic) - W. Keith & Janet Kellogg University Gallery in 2015.

About Linda Smith's works by Peter Selz


A delightful clutter of bright vivid colors is the first impression on seeing Linda Smith's painting. Her paintings simmer and sizzle with images and spark the imagination. The persistence of color in these works makes us think of Matisse and the Fauves, the depiction of dream images, masks, cats, children, lovers and skeletons seems related to the Cobra artists, particularly to Asger Jorn and Karel Appel. Like in their work we witness an attempt to reclaim sub-conscious feelings and thoughts and to formulate them visually by spontaneous manipulation of the picture surface.

After studying painting at SUNY, Buffalo and receiving a master's degree in film and television at NYU, Smith decided to move to Los Angeles where she began exhibiting in group and solo shows in the early '80's. Since that time her work had matured remarkably both conceptually and structurally. The large color brush strokes and the heavy grain often give not only hue and texture to her paintings, but actually determine its composition. The narrative is important, but it is up to the beholder to complete it.

There is a great deal of variety to Smith's paintings: Lovers (1991) takes reference to Kokoschka's Bride of the Wind (1914), but the depiction of the lovers have been pared down into a state of great condensation with the embracing couple surrounded by a whirl of high-colored brush strokes. Black and White (1993) refers to the insurrection in Los Angeles with a confrontation of two severe determined profiles - one black and the other white -with heavy nails embedded in their heads. Finally, Smith is able to create paintings of enormous energy and exuberance such as the recent Burst (1993) in which two brilliantly colored female nudes and the profile of a man's head are floating in indeterminate space and time. Like much of Smith's work over the last few years, it is a painting of animated life, whose source is in the artist's wealth of creative fantasy."

Peter Selz

Curator & Art Historian
​1919 - 2019

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