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Trophy 19 Trophy 19
Trophy 19
Artist: Liz Rundorff Smith
Price: $575.00
Medium: Mixed Media
Ship From Hudson, NY

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Creation Date: 2023
Materials: Mixed media, encaustic and pastel powder on panel
Dimensions: 10" x 8" x 2"
Condition: New
About the Item: Rundorff Smith deals with central shapes that she develops by referencing urns, shrines, burial mounds and places of veneration. As a current resident of South Carolina, she associates cemeteries, particularly locations in the South, as spiritual spaces of veneration. Her paintings are reliquaries for memories. Urns are vessels to hold ashes while also acknowledging life—what we mourn and what we celebrate.
In the exhibition at SEFA Hudson, Rundorff Smith presents the latest in her series entitled “Trophy.” These small scale encaustic paintings are hung in a grid that mirrors the geometric patterns within each piece. The artist works in layers by melting and combining pigmented wax to create a literal history on the materials’ surface, while simultaneously implying the personal story that each vessel is meant to hold. Rendered in colored wax from sky blue to bright pink to vibrant yellow—a rectangular pattern blankets many of the paintings.
This patternation references the constructions of Rundorff Smith’s father, a builder. Thus, the “Trophy” paintings are manifested into small awards to herself. They are an acknowledgement of her own successes and of the care and work that she does to ensure her daughters are raised differently than herself. She states: “I get into the grid and I lose the state of structure because it is fascinating to destroy the grid itself.” She memorializes her childhood and she leaves other elements behind.
Rundorff Smith is interested in kitsch as an accessible form of beauty, related to the aesthetics of her youth. The nostalgic color choices and build up of encaustic is reminiscent of mid-century American decor. In recent paintings like Good Girls, the artist added fringe to the bottom of the canvas. This tactile embellishment plays into kitsch, reminiscent of party decorations, parade floats and prize ribbons—elevating the vessel to something to be celebrated. Patterning, grids, reflected and mirrored vessels suggest the artist's need to nurture the painting through repetition. It is a means to transfer the desired memories and emotions. The artist associates the vessels with her two daughters—or herself and her sister. While many of the forms are repeated, they are never perfect copies. Color is allowed to bleed; lines cut off; previous marks shine through both paper and encaustic pieces. This undulation between symmetry and irregularity creates a need to examine every inch.
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