about

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Rachel Wolfson Smith is an Austin, TX based artist known for immersive graphite drawings. Her most recent exhibitions have been with Colony Design and Design Milk at NeueHouse (NYC), and at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art (CA). Wolfson is a 2018 alumni of The Contemporary Austin’s Crit Group, and has been invited to artist residencies such as 100W Corsicana (TX), the Austin Fire Department AIR (TX), and the Babyan Culture House (Turkey). Her work is in a range of collections, from artist Kiki Smith to Norwegian Cruise Line, and she has been awarded grants for research, travel, and community programing from funders including the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Awesome Foundation, and the City of Austin. Wolfson Smith earned her BFA from MICA and her MFA from Indiana University.

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Follow @wolfsonsmith on Instagram

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About the Drawings

The way my landscape drawings unfold is not unlike the Renaissance battle paintings I grew up on; they tell a story. I use the page to explore the edges where emotional states collide, creating a struggle between the construction and deconstruction of the drawings.

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While studying ecosystems and psychology, I noticed overlaps between the two that led me to use the landscape to investigate relationships and growth as subjects in my drawings. On the paper, as in the mind, turbulence shows up as a symptom of figuring something out. The need of one thing to grow becomes the reluctant disappearance of another.
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Whether larger-than-life or tiny, the drawings become private stages to enter into. My drawing process grew out of my own background in painting, and involves constructing complex compositions in graphite and manipulating that graphite aggressively with erasers in a painterly fashion. The erasures create theatrical transitions between the active and calm areas of the drawing, amplifying the feelings of movement and evolution.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀

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-Rachel Wolfson Smith