Lenard Smith is spending his time at Light Work to both create new work and catch up with some existing projects. Since day one of his residency, Smith has been shooting with the 4 x 5 camera to create a whole new series based on his impressions of and experiences here in Syracuse, a body of images that he calls the AIR Work. These images are half found, half constructed moments in space and time that exalt the scratches of individuality found within institutional architecture. In this way, the images resemble Smiths’ Park Nursing Home series that examines how residents transform the cold comfort of the nursing home into a real hearth be adding personal touches, especially artifacts from their past lives, to their rooms. Besides editing, scanning, and making large-format prints of AIR Work, Smith has been casting a host of models to appear in a series of images based on schematic drawings he came across in several books from the 1950’s. These images, which each involve anywhere from 3 to 9 models, aim to create a surreal atmosphere somewhere between sexuality and healing. Finally, Smith has been reexamining images of African Americans, intended to be recontextualized by way of appropriation, a series which he thought was completed years ago but which has recently started calling to him again.
Smith lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He holds an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from Bard College/International Center of Photography in New York City. Smith has done commission for the Studio Museum, Harlem, NY as well as for BURRO Gallery, London. His work has been exhibited at venues including Blender Gallery in Sydney; Australia, Humble Arts Foundation, Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza, Talman + Monoe Gallery, and International Center of Photography, New York City; as well as Ravenscroft Gallery and BURRO Gallery in London, among others.