BOB AND ROBERTA SMITH
Bob and Roberta Smith (b. London, UK, 1963) studied at the University of Reading (1981-1985) and at Goldsmith's College, London (1991-1993). Bob and Roberta Smith lives and works in London.
Selcted solo shows include Hayward Gallery (London), Whitechapel Gallery (London), Pierogi (New York), Galleria Carbone.to (Torino) and others. Selected group shows include Tate Britain (London), Hayward Gallery (London), Serpentine Gallery (London), Tate Liverpool, CCAC (San Francisco), National Gallery in Copenhagen (Denmark) and CIMA Gallery (Calcutta). Smith's work can be found in public and private collections including the Tate Collection, UK Arts Council Collection and UK British Council Collection .
Mostly known for his sign paintings, Bob and Roberta Smith's work often includes text. Smith is inspired by the idea of 'green-ink letters', and explores the idea of short anonymous tongue-and-cheek sentences written on wood, cardboard, canvas, sculpted or even made from fluorescent light tubes. These writings explore the relationship between art, politics, society and humour, in order to constantly question the viewers' approach to everyday things. Smith's DIY approach appropriates the languages of folk, punk and the alternative protest movements to personalise political sloganeering.
Smith attempts to demolish established values and respected authorities. The humour in his work revolves around humiliation. The idea that the absurd is morally acceptable is reflected in his work. Smith continues to challenge the orthodoxies that you are taught at school and which, they believe, beats the creativity out of you.
In 2009 a sculpture by Bob and Roberta Smith was shortlisted to be exhibited at the fourth plinth in London's Trafalgar Square. A year before that their Christmas Tree graced the hall of Tate Britain. Bob and Roberta's past shows at Hales have involved performances, a large installation made with personalized signs on scrap materials and wall-based paintings on wooden panels.