Lionel Smit: Obscura
March 8, 2018 – May 6, 2018
Artist Reception Thursday, March 15, 2018
OBSCURA, an exhibition of work by Lionel Smit, explores how we are shaped — and placed — by our identity. Specifically, the paintings and sculptures included in this exhibition are representative of a group of people who are multiethnic and multicultural, and whose identity is constantly evolving.
In his native country of South Africa, Smit observes the fluidity of race through the Cape Malay people of Cape Town. As a result of colonialism, African, European and Malaysian bloodlines have been crossed over successive generations to create new identities, of which the Cape Malay people are a striking example. The physical attributes of Cape Malays challenge overly simplified and socially accepted race-based physical stereotypes. A richly diverse and wide-ranging group of people, the Cape Malays have affirmed attributes that have become uniquely their own.
In this exhibition, Smit’s paintings and sculptures become symbolic of a dynamic persona with whom each of us may identify.