Ismael Smith, the beauty and the monsters

Ismael Smith, the beauty and the monsters

NAM Arquitectura
Barcelona, Spain | View Map
Année du projet
Galeries d'art
José Hevia

Ismael Smith, la bellesa y els monstres (Ismael Smith, the beauty and the monsters)

NAM Arquitectura en tant que Architectes.

To thoroughly review the trajectory of Ismael Smith Marí (Barcelona, 1886 - White Plains, New York, 1972) was an outstanding task in the history of Catalan art. The first years of his career were famous, but in 1919 he went to live in the United States and then began the process of forgetting. There he could not integrate as he aspired and left the practice of art to dedicate himself to the study of cancer treatment, in a way Naive and obsessive. In 1960 he was interned, against his will, at Bloomingdale's psychiatric sanatorium on the outskirts of New York. In Catalonia, he was not a forgotten artist, but he remained in the field of satirical and bibelot illustration, due to his transgressive production, always at the limit, in the world of order of Noucentisme in which he was immersed.


The deformation of a grotesque or expressionist nature in the sculpture, the sexual ambiguity of the masculine and feminine figures of the drawings, or the skeptical scenes of engravings did not fit into the placid Mediterraneanism that was being imposed as the only way out of modernism. It was a disturbing and varied work that was left out of the official discourse until it reached the decline and contempt.


The exhibition focuses simply on the order and organization of the immense amount of work to be exhibited in showcases and walls in the most natural way possible. By means of a single element: a yellow-gold metallic curtain, the spaces as well as their route and structure are organized as well as symbolizes the atmosphere of a golden age that characterizes the artistic stages of Ismael Smith. The exhibition is divided into five areas: the character, the cartoonist, the sculptor, the engraver and the tragic end of the artist.


At the distribution level, the different spaces are considered from the walls and metal curtain, leaving spaces or intermittent rooms for audiovisual interventions. The graph that accompanies the different areas with the titles, texts and appointments of the author, is simple but very clear, powerful and irreverent, such as the personality of Smith.

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