Kambel Smith creates large-scale sculptures representing iconic works of architecture using cardboard salvaged from the trash and other discarded materials such as foamcore and paint. His recent works include Guild House (2019), Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (2019), Shake Shack (2019), and Tbilisi Bridge (2019), revealing the artist’s current interest in the work of architects Frank Gehry, Robert Venturi, and James Wines. In the creation of his architectural sculptures, Smith pays painstaking attention to the recreation of details such as cornices, the capitals of columns, and the treatment of windows.
Smith was diagnosed with Autism when he was eight years old. During the past ten years, his father has engaged the artist in daily improvised storytelling, encouraging Smith to participate in the created narrative by making drawings and sculpture. Smith typically takes up to five months to realize one of his finished models, and the artist’s hand is evident throughout the process, from the overall structure to precisely observed details. His use of found materials and obsessive attention to detail provide a
unique insight into our architectural environment.
Smith has had one-person exhibitions at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA; the Elaine de Kooning House, East Hampton, NY; and the Outsider Art Fair (presented by Chris Byrne), New York, NY. His work was featured in One Day You’ll See: A History of Afrofuturism, curated by Brian Chidester at the Brooklyn Print & Photo Fair, Brooklyn, New York.
This past fall, the artist had concurrent one-person exhibitions at Fleisher/Ollman and Marlborough, New York and London.
Kambel Smith’s work is included in the collections of the American Folk Art Museum, New York; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the West Collection in Philadelphia.