- Liz Shannon
- 30 October 2008
It seems as though Mary Mary has executed a bit of a coup by getting Matthew Smith's work to Scotland for this new exhibition. Smith's CV includes solo shows at cutting-edge galleries such as White Columns and Rivington Arms in New York, and he was included in last year's East International exhibition, all of which serves to reinforce this artist's air of promise. The installation shots of Smith's work look interesting - it appears that a treat awaits us - but sadly this isn't borne out by the work on display.
Smith adopts a sculptural vocabulary that consists of wooden spoons, a broken red plastic utensil, a futon mattress, pieces of white laminated chipboard and dyed towels. In the first room a latex-covered wooden spoon balances on the edge of a pen-marked piece of white laminated chipboard, while next door two wooden spoons, one fresh and unused and one encrusted with grey concrete, lie on a concertinaed futon mattress.
While he is obviously influenced by minimalism - visible through the exhibition's exactingly spare installation and the use of coloured towels pinned flat to the wall which variously recall minimalist paintings and 'windows' - the written commentary that accompanies the show emphasises Smith's complex conceptual interests above all else. Unfortunately, the exhibition doesn't seem to deconstruct or transmit the semiotic meanings with which Smith's work is apparently engaging, and the more intriguing and playful aspects of his work that have been exhibited elsewhere are sadly absent from this show.
Mary Mary, Glasgow, until Sat 8 Nov