Michael Bell-Smith takes familiar visual elements from games, advertising, interiors, and corporate design, among other places, and positions them within unexpected conceptual frameworks. His digital animations and appropriations wryly reflect upon our cultural moment: as he tracks the circulation and proliferation of images and sounds, he charts a rapidly changing history of viral content. He mixes flatness with deep perspectives and motion with stillness in dynamic meditations on the image’s hold on truth.
Michael Bell-Smith (East Corinth, ME, 1978) lives and works in Accord, NY. He holds a BA in Semiotics from Brown University, Providence, RI, and an MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.
Selected exhibitions include: “Virtual Landscapes,” [Senne], Brussels, Belgium; “All Art is Virtual,” Thoma Foundation Art Vault, Santa Fe, NM; “America. “Between Dreams and Realities,” Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, QC, Canada (all 2022). “Summer Screening Series, Lost in Place: Voyages in Video,” Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2021); “The Smiths,” curated by Maurizio Cattelan, Marlborough Contemporary, London, UK (2019); “A Visibility Matrix, by Sven Anderson and Gerard Byrne,” Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2018); “Mall Punk,” Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway (solo) (2017-2018); “Web 2.0.”organized by Paul Slocum and Thierry Tilquin, Senne, Brussels; “Material,” Foxy Production (solo)(both 2017); “Greater New York,” MoMA PS1, Queens, NY (2015-2016). “The Diet,” Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles (solo) (2016); “Greater New York,” MoMA PS1, Queens, NY (2015-2016); “Sound Spill,” Zabludowicz Art Projects, New York, NY; “Spectacle: The Music Video,” Museum of the Moving Image, Queens, NY (both 2013); “Is This Thing On?” Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; “ICA MECA,” Portland, ME (solo) (both 2012); “Hiroshima,” MOCA, Japan (solo project); “The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image: Part I – Dreams,” Caixaforum, Madrid and Barcelona, Spain (both 2011); “Abandon Normal Devices,” FACT, Liverpool, UK (2009); “The Liverpool Biennial,” Liverpool, UK; “Montage: Unmonumental Online,” The New Museum, New York, NY; “Blown Away,” Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL (all 2008); “The Singles Collection,” SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA; “Playback,” Musée dʼArt Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France; “Reality Bytes,” Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, Dallas, TX ( all 2007); and “Butch Queen Realness with a Twist in Pastel Colors Video Show,” Tate Liverpool, UK (2005).
Bell-Smith’s works are in the permanent collections of Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; The Bass Museum of Art, Miami, FL; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL.
|The Infinite Fill Show||2004||Gallery|
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- Ralske, Kale. "Happy Hunting: Michael Bell-Smith at Foxy Production." art critical. 14 Nov. 2014. Web.
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- Bell-Smith, Michael, and Lauren Cornell. "Grey Areas: An Interview between Michael Bell-Smith and Lauren Cornell." Portland, ME: Institute of Contemporary Art, MICA, 2013: 12-17.
- Fuller, Daniel. "Between Frontiers." Michael Bell-Smith. Portland, ME: Institute of Contemporary Art, MICA, 2013: 12-17.
- Valdez, Sarah. “Michael Bell-Smith.” Art in America. Jan. 2013: 104.
- Wilson, Michael. “Michael Bell-Smith.” Artforum. Nov. 2012: 276-277.
- Heinrich, Will. “Sea Spume, Magic Hands and Miniature Worlds: Jeff Shore and Jon Fisher at Derek Eller, Michael Bell-Smith at Foxy Production, Louis Fishman at Cheim & Reid.” The Observer. 8 Oct. 2012: B9
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- Kany, Daniel. “Bell-Smith Show a Fascinating, Fun Look at Technology in Art.” The Portland Press Herald. 4 Apr. 2012. Web.
- A.B. “Knocking heads together.” The Economist. 24 June 2011. Web.
- Samadzadeh, Noziee. “Seven Artists, Seven Technologies, 24 Hours.” Artlog. 20 May 2011. Web.
- Archey, Karen. "Michael Bell-Smith’s ‘Art Tape: Live With / Think About’." Blouin Artinfo. 23 Apr. 2011. Web.
- Spampinato, Francesco. "N.Y.F.C.: New York Fucking City." Flash Art. Aug.-Sep. 2009: 86-89.
- Hight, Elena. "Filming Fantasy: 'The Cinema Effect' at Hirshhorn." The Georgetown Independent. Apr. 2008.
- Gordon, Kelly. "Michael Bell-Smith." The Cinema Effect. Washington: Hirshhorn Museum, Feb.-May. 2008.
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- Gopnik, Blake. "Moving Pictures at the Hirshhorn: 'Dreams' Melds Cinema and Psyche To Hypnotic Effect." The Washington Post. Feb. 2008. Web.
- Moss, Ceci and Michael Bell-Smith. "Interview with Michael Bell-Smith." Rhizome. 24 Jan. 2008. Web.
- Bell-Smith, Michael and Rebecca Gordon. "Michael Bell-Smith talks to Rebecca Gordon." NY Arts. Jan.-Feb. 2008.
- Davis, Ben. "Commerce and Consciousness." Artnet. 11 Jan. 2008. Web.
- Johnson, Paddy. “Geeks in the Gallery: An Interview with Artists Tom Moody and Michael Bell-Smith.” Art Fag City. 14 June 2006. Web.
- Parker, Graham. "Michael Bell-Smith." Time Out New York. 1-7 June 2006: 76.
- Smith, Roberta. "Michael Bell-Smith." The New York Times. 19 May. 2006: E9.
- Cornell, Lauren. “Net Results: Closing the Gap Between Art and Life Online.” Time Out New York. 9-15 Feb. 2006: 69.