Image: Installation view, Jo Smail: Flying With Remnant Wings. Photo by Mitro Hood.

Jo Smail: Flying With Remnant Wings


Using a poignant language of charged colors and abstract forms, South African-born, Baltimore-based artist Jo Smail conveys the strangeness, vulnerability, and complicated beauty of contemporary life. This exhibition features 50 paintings and works on paper by Smail, as well as collages produced with fellow South African William Kentridge. The earliest works date to the late 1990s and early 2000s when the artist overcame a studio fire that destroyed all her previous paintings and a stroke that inhibited her movement and speech. Since then, Smail has continued experimenting with different media and compositional strategies. Her profound and unique works, accompanied by their poetic and irreverent titles, reflect an irrepressible joy and optimism; at the same time, they never shy away from a world always on the brink of destabilization.

Curated by Kristen Hileman, Independent Curator