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Oral history interview with Alexis Smith, 2014 January 24-April 14

Online Media

Catalog Data

Interviewee:
Smith, Alexis, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Drohojowska-Philp, Hunter  Search this
Subject:
Bell, Larry  Search this
Moses, Avilda  Search this
Celmins, Vija  Search this
Krull, Craig  Search this
Sedivy, Richard  Search this
Burden, Barbara  Search this
Gehry, Frank O.  Search this
Solomon, Jerry  Search this
Grieger, Scott  Search this
Coplans, John Rivers  Search this
Burden, Chris  Search this
Irwin, Robert  Search this
Howard, Coy  Search this
Gerowitz, Judy  Search this
Ruppersberg, Allen  Search this
Nicholas Wilder Gallery  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles  Search this
Holly Solomon Gallery  Search this
University of California, Irvine  Search this
Mizuno Gallery  Search this
Margo Leavin Gallery  Search this
Honor Fraser Gallery  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place of publication, production, or execution:
California
Physical Description:
Sound recording: 5 sound files (3 hr., 11 min.) digital, wav
Transcript: 84 pages
General Note:
Originally recorded as 5 sound files. Duration is 3 hr., 11 min.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Summary:
An interview with Alexis Smith conducted 2014 January 24 and April 14, by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, for the Archives of American Art at Smith's studio, in Venice, California.
Ms. Smith discusses growing up in Southern California and her early years living with her parents on the grounds of Metropolitan State Hospital, a mental institution in Norwalk, California; her mother's death when Ms. Smith was 11; the family's time in Whittier and Palm Springs and being raised as an only child by her father; her early interest in French studies and travel to France as a student; her interest in studying art beginning with a John Coplans class at UC Irvine; her time at at UC Irvine in the early days of the university and her growing attraction to the life of an artist; the origin of her name Alexis Smith; and the encouragement of her fellow artists to continue pursuing her cut-up collages from literature, photos, magazines, and Hollywood ephemera. Ms. Smith also describes her time with her artist women's group in the 70s; her husband Scott Grieger; working for Frank Gehry; her showing with the Nicholas Wilder Gallery; her relationship with Chris Burden and her time with him during his period of performance pieces in the 70s; the Riko Mizuno Gallery; her work with terrazzo and its use for installations at the LA Convention Center, Ohio State University, and other installations; the appropriation of text and the assistance of Jerry Solomon utilizing custom frames in her artwork; the impact of women from history, media and literature on her art; her relationship with Coy Howard; the Holly Solomon Gallery; her Jane series; her On the Road series; her installation Snake Path at UC San Diego; her piece for SITE Santa Fe Red Carpet; teaching at UCLA; her installation of the piece Scarlet Letter at Las Vegas Central Library and its subsequent removal; her associations with Margo Leavin Gallery and Honor Fraser gallery; and the loss of her long-time studio space and the challenges of storing her artwork. Ms. Smith also recalls Judy Chicago, Robert Irwin, Vija Celmins, Larry Bell, Barbara Burden, Richard Sedivy, Avilda Moses, Craig Krull, and Allen Ruppersberg among others.
Citation:
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Alexis Smith, 2014 January 24-April 14. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms:
Transcript available online.
Biography Note:
Alexis Smith (1949- ) is a collage, multimedia, and installation artist in Los Angeles, California. Hunter Drohojowska-Philp is an art critic and writer from Beverly Hills, California.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Topic:
Art  Search this
Collagists  Search this
Multimedia (Art)  Search this
France  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Multimedia installations (Art)  Search this
Installations (Art)  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)16169
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)366489
AAA_collcode_smith14
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_366489