kambel smith uses salvaged materials to recreate buildings by frank gehry and robert venturi

kambel smith uses salvaged materials to recreate buildings by frank gehry and robert venturi

buildings designed by frank gehry, robert venturi, and michele de lucchi have been re-imagined as part of an exhibition of work by kambel smith. based in philadelphia, smith is known for creating scale representations of recognizable buildings using salvaged cardboard and other discarded materials such as foamcore and paint. in the realization of his architectural sculptures, the artist pays painstaking attention to the recreation of details such as cornices, the capitals of columns, and the treatment of windows.

luo ruvo center for brain health, 2019 | foamcore board, acrylic, ink and paper

44 x 100 x 96 in. / 111.8 x 254 x 243.8 cm | CNON 61.884
all images by pierre le hors, courtesy of marlborough



kambel smith was diagnosed with autism when he was eight years old. over the past ten years, his father has engaged him 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.

luo ruvo center for brain health, 2019



from now until november 16, 2019, those in new york can see smith’s work in person at marlborough gallery’s 25th street location. the new pieces include lou ruvo center for brain health (2019), guild house (2019), shake shack (2019), and tbilisi bridge (2019), revealing the artist’s current interest in the work of frank gehry, robert venturi, james wines, and michele de lucchi. the realm of nevaeh (2019), also featured, is an imaginary structure commissioned for the exhibition ‘one day you’ll see: a history of afrofuturism’ at the brooklyn print & photo fair.

luo ruvo center for brain health, 2019



coinciding with the exhibition at marlborough, kambel smith’s ‘philadelphia’ will be on view at fleisher/ ollman in philadelphia from november 7, 2019 through january 25, 2020. smith’s work is included in the collections of the american folk art museum, new york, and the west collection in philadelphia.

guild house, 2019 
| cardboard, foamboard, gouache, oil paint, charcoal

33 x 88 x 36 in.
/ 83.8 x 223.5 x 91.4 cm | CNON 61.243

shake shack, 2019 | cardboard, foamboard, gouache, oil paint, charcoal

36 1/2 x 62 x 62 in.
/ 92.7 x 157.5 x 157.5 cm | CNON 61.885

shake shack, 2019

tbilisi bridge, 2019 | cardboard, foamboard, gouache, oil paint, charcoal

24 x 114 x 29 in.
/ 61 x 289.6 x 73.7 cm | CNON 61.244

tbilisi bridge, 2019

realm of neveah, 2019 | foamcore board, acrylic, ink, and paper

42 x 59 1/2 x 48 in.
/ 106.7 x 151.1 x 121.9 cm | CNON 61.817

realm of neveah, 2019



project info:


artist: kambel smith
exhibition: new work
location: marlborough — 545 west 25th street, new york, NY
dates: october 12 – november 16, 2019

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