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Solo Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, 2018



770 NE 125th St, NORTH MIAMI

8 MARCH - 6 MAY 2019

The first extensive survey of Lionel Smit's solo exhibition opens at the MOCA Miami on 8th March.

Lionel Smit, in collaboration with MOCA Miami, explores how we are shaped — and placed — by our identity. Specifically, the paintings and sculptures included in this exhibition are representative of a group of people who are multiethnic and multicultural, and whose identity is constantly evolving. In probing how we are shaped – and placed – by our identity, Smit homes in on an ethnic group with a rich, complex and often fraught history: the Cape Malay people of Cape Town.

Through the visages contemplated in his sculptures and paintings, Smit closely observes this fluidity, challenging simplistic race-based physical stereotypes by depicting a succession of dynamic and multifaceted personae. His subjects may identify with a particular group, but their diversity within that social structure renders them unique. Observing the tension between abstraction and representation, here is a sense of unity conveyed by Smit’s portraits in OBSCURA, with the multiplicity of partial or fragmented representations serving to create a holistic image in the mind’s eye.

Abandon #2, 2017, Oil & Mixed Media on Linen, 280x190cm

Abandon #2, 2017, Oil & Mixed Media on Linen, 280x190cm

Abandon #1, 2017, Oil & Mixed Media on Linen, 280x190cm

Abandon #1, 2017, Oil & Mixed Media on Linen, 280x190cm

Psychology tells us that often, that which appears to obscure can, in fact, serve to reveal, imply and illuminate. We invite the observer to contemplate the secrets belying these ostensibly inscrutable faces in Lionel Smit’s OBSCURA.

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Museum of Contemporary Art Miami

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is dedicated to making contemporary art accessible to diverse audiences – especially underserved populations – through the collection, preservation and exhibition of the best of contemporary art and its art historical influences.

We are delighted to present ‘Obscura’ by Lionel Smit for his U.S. debut. The artist draws the viewers into his portraitures by using mixed media in his paintings and sculptures. MOCA is proud to share this unique exhibition with our audience.

Natasha Colebrook Williams - MOCA’s Interim Director

For further information