Dec. 5-8 Exhibition 
Drawing on Habit: An Ambition for UNTITLED
Dec. 18 A Private Evening with Philip Smith 
at Jason McCoy Gallery
Dec. 20 PHILIP SMITH: SIGN LANGUAGE Exhibition Closing 


Drawing on Habit: An Ambition
Curated by Saul Ostrow and Lidija Slavkovic

Thursday, December 5 - Sunday, December 8
Part of UNTITLED Art Fair Miami's Off-Site Events 

Philip Smith's Pencil on Wood Drawing, Smoking Grapefruit in Exhibition Which Examines Conscious and Unconscious Habit
As part of UNTITLED Miami, Drawing on Habit: An Ambition, features the work of Philip Smith, along with four generations of works by artists predominantly connected to New York City and Miami. The exhibition is drawn from the text project, An Ambition, by Saul Ostrow and Lidija Slavkovic, which is based on their ongoing conversations concerning the conceptual, semiotic and philosophical issues that circumscribe Slavkoci's production. A special event, Conversation on Habit in Studio and Critical Practices, will take place on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 4-6pm, preceding the opening reception.

Smith's pencil on wood drawing, Smoking Grapefruit, 2013 will be presented within the exhibition, which focuses on the theme of habit. By means of the select works, Ostrow and Slavkovic identify the material traces of how habit consciously and unconsciously informs the attitudes and points of view that stimulate an artist's experiments and contingent interpretations of their disciplinary objectives. 

Date/s + Time/s
Thursday 5 - Sunday 8 December
Conversation - Habit in Studio and Critical Practices: Thursday 5 December, 4-6pm
Opening Reception: Thursday 5 December, 6-9pm

The Betsy
1440 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

A Private Evening with Philip Smith

Wednesday, December 18  6-8pm
Jason McCoy Gallery, New York

Discussing the Exhibition PHILIP SMITH: SIGN LANGAUGE 
and the Relationship Between the Artist's Paintings, Memoir and 
Forthcoming Showtime Series, Walking Through Walls

Please join us for a private evening with artist, Philip Smith on December 18, 6-8pm at Jason McCoy Gallery, where the artist will discuss his work and the relationship between his paintings, his memoir (published by Simon and Schuster) and forthcoming Showtime television series, Walking Through Walls and growing up in a house of talking spirits and miraculous healing.

Both Walking Through Walls and PHILIP SMITH: SIGN LANGUAGE, the artist's current exhibition at Jason McCoy Gallery, offer insight into the life and mind of the artist, as well as his psychologically-charged images. The paintings are characterized by slightly visible erased imagery that serves as both memory and ghost-like images reminiscent of Smith’s childhood that was filled with séances and talking spirits. The result is a disorienting universe characteristic of Smith’s long association with both pop culture and metaphysical practices.

Philip Smith’s compelling readable memoir of his father—a psychic, exorcist, hands-on healer, and… decorator!—is as entertaining as it is bizarre, all the way to its unexpected and deeply moving conclusion.”

—John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Date/s + Time/s
Wednesday 18 December, 6-8pm


Jason McCoy Gallery
41 East 57th Street, 11th floor 
New York 10022

By Invitation Only - RSVP Essential
212 319 1996 /

Recent Press


Exhibition on View Through Friday, December 20
Jason McCoy Gallery, New York

Featured in ELLE DECOR, Artspace, IN New York, Modern Luxury Miami and miamiartzine, Jason McCoy Gallery presents PHILIP SMITH: SIGN LANGUAGE, the artist's latest body of work of psychologically-charged images, drawn from found imagery in 1950s Cold War spy manuals, lingerie ads, books on mysticism and numerology, lost magic manuals and early genetic diagrams. Walter Robinson describes, "Like a magic act, Philip Smith’s new paintings happen right before your eyes, but you’re still not quite sure what it is you’ve seen." Smith works the canvas like a physicist’s blackboard where he can postulate new image formulations and equations. 

The exhibition also features Smith's prints—laser-carved etchings on black marble imported from Pakistan. Smith explains the roots of this print series: "All great early civilizations memorialized their cultural, spiritual and social ideas and history by carving into stone. As a kid, I was fascinated by these cultures and wanted to become an archaeologist—which gives some explanation to the pictographic work I create. Instead of carving into stone, I now carve into paint, but was always curious to make work like the ancients did, in stone. By harnessing technology with this ancient expression, I have created these marble carvings using a laser to draw the lines into stone. I refer to them as 'fragments' and as 'prints' as they utilize an engraving process similar to classical prints on paper."

Philip Smith’s pictographic work was first seen in the seminal Pictures exhibition, curated by Douglas Crimp at Artists Space—which also included Robert Longo, Sherrie Levine, Troy Brauntuch and Jack Goldstein. These five artists established the movement that has become known as The Pictures Generation, that now includes Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Laurie Simmons and many others. Smith first moved to NYC from Florida as a young artist, working as a writer for Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine, and going on to become managing editor of GQHis work has been included in both the Whitney and Beijing Biennial and is in the permanent collection of the Whitney, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas Museum of Art, Miami Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Art, among others. 

Smith’s paintings, prints and drawings, feature imagery from thousands of photographs Smith has taken—ranging from old magic manuals and physics books, to medical literature, menus and advertisements—with the photographic negatives serving as image sources. A new photographic series came into being, when painter James Nares visited Smith's studio and was curious about the black-and-white film negatives that had acquired a thick patina of paint just by being in the studio. Smith explained that the slides were his image library, and Naves suggested that they were photographic works in themselves. Following up on the suggestion, Smith had the original 35mm negatives scanned. Because of the paint, scratches and cracks that have accumulated on the negatives, the computer—disoriented—threw random, intense psychedelic colors at the screen, misreading the surface depth of the negatives. Smith discusses the striking results—which are accidental, and printed as is—with New York-based curator and contributing editor for ART + AUCTION Doug McClemont, in the catalogue PHILIP SMITH: SIGN LANGUAGE.
Stephen M. Cadwalader, Vice-President, Jason McCoy Gallery
212 319 1996 /

Amy Kisch, Founder + CEO, AKArt
646 580 6626 /

IMAGES Top to bottom: Philip Smith, Smoking Grapefruit, 2013, Pencil on wood; Invitation for Drawing on Habit: An Ambition; Philip Smith in Studio, 2013 Photo © Guido Apicella; Philip Smith, Walking Through Walls; Philip Smith as featured in Modern Luxury Miami; Philip Smith,The Invention of Mapping, 2013, Oil and wax on canvas, 39 x 47 inches, featured in miamiartzine; Philip Smith as featured in ELLE DECOR; Philip Smith, Untitled, 2013, Laser engraving, honed marble, Large: 11 x 14 x 3/4 inches, Small: 8 x 10 x 3/4 inches, Edition of 25 each in situ; Philip Smith, Double Time, 2013, Archival digital print, 30 x 40 inches, Edition of 5.
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