Greg Smith is a multidisciplinary artist who notes that his work often centers on a character attempting to “create something, trying to structure his environment, but who’s also kind of hapless, and, in the end, probably doomed.” His video Breakdown Lane (2013) opens Saturday, January 21, and continues through Sunday, May 7, in the Helen and Dick Minck Gallery of New Media. He will introduce his work in a lecture on opening day at 3 p.m.
Based in New York City, he is best known for his videos, though he also produces installations and sculpture. He has shown his work at the Museum of Modern Art, Artists Space, and White Columns in New York; the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center; and The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas, among many other venues.
Dr. Smith has a PhD in Physics from Harvard University and pursued a career in science, before earning his MFA from Hunter College and turning to art full-time. He explores the big questions of our experience, using humorous, homemade methods in his work.
Breakdown Lane functions as both an exploration of the archetypal journey inherent to the road movie and as a reflection on the video medium itself. Throughout the absurd narrative, he rigorously attempts to maneuver his improbable automobile out of the breakdown lane.
Critic Sarah Goffstein has written that “beyond optical accidents, the makeshift mechanics of Smith’s vehicle put the artist at risk…It is hard not to expect electrocution or explosions.” The video is shown on an improvised theater in the center of his installation and was selected by Curator of Contemporary Art Katherine Pill to complement The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip, on view in the Hazel Hough Wing from Thursday, February 9-Sunday, June 4.