Rachel Wolfson Smith is an Austin, TX based artist known for her large-scale graphite drawings. She exhibits nationally and internationally, most recently at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art in CA and ICOSA gallery in TX. Wolfson is a 2018 alumni of The Contemporary Austin’s Crit Group, and has been an artist in residence at the Austin Fire Department, Halka Sanat and the Babyan Culture House in Turkey and has received grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Awesome Foundation, and the City of Austin have helped fund these initiatives. She received her BFA from MICA and her MFA from Indiana University, both in painting. In April 2019 Wolfson begins an artist residency at 100W Corsicana, and her exhibition “Surround Sound” opens at the Fort Worth Arts Center. Follow @wolfsonsmith on Instagram for studio updates.


About the work

I make drawings to explore how time and emotional states can be recorded on a still, 2D plane.

By observing plants and analyzing my thoughts, I’ve noticed overlaps in nature and psychology that have led me to use the landscape to talk about emotional nuances. The resulting drawings are elegant, ruinous, and in tune with alternating cycles of existence. The representational rendering in the often immersive-scaled drawings blurs into abstraction, offering the observer a story to enter that’s full of clues but not answers.

Growing out of a painting background, my process of manipulating graphite with aggressive erasing is as much additive as it is reductive, and colored pigment subtly directs the drawing’s mood. My hat-tip to painting extends to the scale of the drawings and the construction of their compositions, which pull inspiration from Renaissance battle paintings. But they are drawings, and so the earliest construction lines and missteps can be seen through the subsequent layers even when complete. The viewer has the power to dissect the history of each decision that took place, to see through time to jotted notes and ideas coming together on the page.