August 19 – 27, 2023
Opening: Saturday, August 19, 2–6 PM
South Etna Montauk Foundation
at the Carl Fisher House
44 Foxboro Road
Montauk, NY 11954
(Montauk, NY) – The South Etna Montauk Foundation is pleased to present an exhibition of recent architectural sculpture by Kambel Smith at the historic Carl Fisher House in Montauk, as a benefit for the Montauk Historical Society. The exhibition, slated to run from August 19th through 27th, 2023, is the first exhibition of contemporary art at the Fisher House, and offers a rare opportunity to engage with Smith's incredibly detailed work against the backdrop of one of Montauk's most treasured architectural gems.
Raised in Philadelphia, where he was born in 1986, Kambel Smith has garnered acclaim for his intricate sculptures of famous buildings and monuments. Smith works with found materials including cardboard, glue, foam, board, and a range of other media to create sculptural recreations of iconic architecture. A self-taught artist, Smith employs meticulous focus to mirror precise architectural details, and possesses a remarkable skill for reproducing proportions, basing his sculptures solely on images accessed online. Before turning to sculpture in recent years, Smith made paintings of similar subjects, and his facility for painting has carried through to these hand-painted sculptures.
The exhibition at the Fisher House comprises five recent sculptures that variously depict the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the United States Capitol Building, Robert Indiana’s iconic “Love” sculpture—a Philadelphia landmark—and the Statue of Liberty. Notably, the exhibition will also feature Smith’s rendering of the famed Montauk Point Lighthouse, exhibited here for the first time. Taken together, the works on view assemble a highlight reel of American architecture, filtered through the lens of Smith’s unique vision.
In his work, Smith weaves together obsessive detail, humble materials, and impressive scale to make artworks that convey a profoundly personal perspective on our built environment. His practice has always revolved around his family, who have helped him develop his art as a means of navigating his autism. In recent years, Smith’s work has been the subject of solo presentations at Atlanta Contemporary, the Elaine de Kooning House, Marlborough, and Fleisher/Ollman. His work is held in the permanent collections of numerous public institutions, including the American Folk Art Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the West Collection. In 2021, he received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and in 2022 he received a Wynn Newhouse Award.
Set in the Carl Fisher House, a Dutch Colonial masterpiece and a vibrant link to Montauk's past, the exhibition invites visitors to traverse the timeline of Smith's artistic journey in an environment steeped in history. A distinctive and historic mansion, the Fisher house was originally constructed by businessman and real estate developer Carl Fisher during the late 1920s. The home has retained its architectural integrity and distinctiveness for a century, and now its history makes it an ideal location to consider Kambel Smith’s architectural sculptures. His works, which in certain instances echo the historic and architectural details of the house, engage in a visual dialogue with the building. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to explore this synchronicity, promising a compelling encounter between architecture and its handmade doppelganger.
The South Etna Montauk Foundation and the Montauk Historical Society thank Chris Byrne and the Elaine de Kooning House for facilitating this exhibition.
ABOUT THE SOUTH ETNA MONTAUK FOUNDATION
Established in 2021 by Amalia Dayan and Adam Lindemann, South Etna Montauk Foundation brings contemporary artists to Montauk to present their work in a storied American place that has served as home and source of inspiration to artists across generations. In addition to hosting public exhibitions in its gallery space in the Village of Montauk, this non-profit organization offers East End residencies to artists. Since its founding, the foundation has hosted exhibitions and residencies with artists including Richard Mayhew, Eddie Martinez, Sam Moyer, Faith Ringgold, Robert Colescott, Lonnie Holley, and Karen Kilimnik.
ABOUT THE MONTAUK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The Montauk Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to collecting, restoring, preserving and displaying historically significant buildings, objects, and writings, and to preserving the history and cultures of Montauk and the East End for this and future generations. Over the years since its founding in 1962, MHS has grown and flourished. Currently, the historical society oversees four properties — the Montauk Point Lighthouse, the Second House Museum, the Montauk Indian Museum and the Carl Fisher House — which it maintains through grants, entry fees, gift-shop sales, and generous donations.
ABOUT THE ELAINE DE KOONING HOUSE
The Elaine de Kooning House in East Hampton, NY, is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places. The residence is also an affiliate member of the National Trust’s Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios program. Since 2011, the Elaine de Kooning House has hosted events, exhibitions, and informal artist residencies with the artists Laurie Anderson, Charles Andresen, Aaron Aujla, Katherine Bernhardt, Lizzi Bougatsos, Joe Bradley, Jessie Dunahoo, Chris Duncan, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, Mike Goodlett, Eric Haze, Lonnie Holley, Sedrick Huckaby, Kim “Mudman” Jones, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Laura and Rachel Lancaster, Sadie Laska, Jose Lerma, Josephine Meckseper, Liz Markus, Adam Marnie, Keith Mayerson, Scott and Tyson Reeder, John Riepenhoff, Kambel Smith, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, M. Louise Stanley, Jerry “The Marble Faun” Torre, Michael Williams, and Anke Weyer.
For additional information about the exhibition, please contact the foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org