The exhibition will cover the entire Ismael Smith’s trajectory (Barcelona, 1886-White Plains, New York, 1972) and will reunite various works from the diverse disciplines that this artist practiced: sculpture, drawing, illustration, posters, graphic design, interior design, ceramics, jewelry design, engravings, book-plates and even painting, a hidden facet of the artist. There will be about seventy sculptures shown, more than one hundred and fifty drawings and monument projects, about fifty engravings, a set of jewelry and a complete book-plates collection, the activity that brought him fame in the United States.
Ismael Smith was a famous figure in Catalonia during the first fifteen or sixteen years of his trajectory. From 1903, when he won his first prize in Barcelona when he was seventeen, until 1919, when he moved to the United States. Afterwards, due to his transgressive production, always taken to the limit, in a time when noucentisme was the predominant movement, he was typecast in satirical illustration and bibelot, so he was never considered again as he deserved, worthy to be named among the great catalan sculptors of the XX century.
During the first half of the XXth Century, the Catalan sculpture was following the classicism and academicism rules, so Smith’s work became a constant provocation and that brought him to pay the consequences. The grotesque distortion, in some cases, or expressionist, in others, in sculpture, the sexual ambiguity of his figures, masculine or feminine, his satirical drawings, or the grotesque scenes in his gravings could not fit in that Mediterraneanism that, back then, seemed the only possible solution to modernism.
Smith’s art pieces constitute a disturbing and diverse work that was ignored from the mainstream artistic movements. Actually, his figure was first inspected some years after his death, during the 80s. The exhibition includes more than four hundred Smith’s drawings that belong to this museum, as well as to the Museo Reina Sofía, the Hispanic Society of New York, Fundanción Mapfre, Calcografía Nacional/Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Museu d’Història de Catalunya, Biblioteca de Catalunya, Museus de Sitges, Fundació Palau, Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Casa Museu Pau Casals, Museu de la Música, Museu Abelló and the Museu d’Art de Cerdanyola, as well as private collections from Barcelona, Madrid and New York.+info