Oral history interview with Alexis Smith

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.smith14
Creators:
Smith, Alexis, 1949-
Drohojowska-Philp, Hunter
Dates:
2014 January 24-April 14
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
5 Items
Sound recording: 5 sound files (3 hr., 11 min.)
digital, wav
84 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Alexis Smith conducted 2014 January 24 and April 14, by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, for the Archives of American Art at Smith's studio, in Venice, California.
Scope and Contents
Ms. Smith discusses growing up in Southern California and her early years living with her parents on the grounds of Metropolitan State Hospital, a mental institution in Norwalk, California; her mother's death when Ms. Smith was 11; the family's time in Whittier and Palm Springs and being raised as an only child by her father; her early interest in French studies and travel to France as a student; her interest in studying art beginning with a John Coplans class at UC Irvine; her time at at UC Irvine in the early days of the university and her growing attraction to the life of an artist; the origin of her name Alexis Smith; and the encouragement of her fellow artists to continue pursuing her cut-up collages from literature, photos, magazines, and Hollywood ephemera. Ms. Smith also describes her time with her artist women's group in the 70s; her husband Scott Grieger; working for Frank Gehry; her showing with the Nicholas Wilder Gallery; her relationship with Chris Burden and her time with him during his period of performance pieces in the 70s; the Riko Mizuno Gallery; her work with terrazzo and its use for installations at the LA Convention Center, Ohio State University, and other installations; the appropriation of text and the assistance of Jerry Solomon utilizing custom frames in her artwork; the impact of women from history, media and literature on her art; her relationship with Coy Howard; the Holly Solomon Gallery; her Jane series; her On the Road series; her installation Snake Path at UC San Diego; her piece for SITE Santa Fe Red Carpet; teaching at UCLA; her installation of the piece Scarlet Letter at Las Vegas Central Library and its subsequent removal; her associations with Margo Leavin Gallery and Honor Fraser gallery; and the loss of her long-time studio space and the challenges of storing her artwork. Ms. Smith also recalls Judy Chicago, Robert Irwin, Vija Celmins, Larry Bell, Barbara Burden, Richard Sedivy, Avilda Moses, Craig Krull, and Allen Ruppersberg among others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Alexis Smith (1949- ) is a collage, multimedia, and installation artist in Los Angeles, California. Hunter Drohojowska-Philp is an art critic and writer from Beverly Hills, California.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript available online.
Author
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded as 5 sound files. Duration is 3 hr., 11 min.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collagists -- California -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Installations (Art) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Multimedia (Art) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Multimedia installations (Art) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women artists -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
France -- description and travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bell, Larry, 1939- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Burden, Barbara Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Burden, Chris, 1946- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Celmins, Vija, 1938- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chicago, Judy, 1939- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coplans, John Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gehry, Frank O., 1929- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grieger, Scott Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Howard, Coy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Irwin, Robert, 1928- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Krull, Craig Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Moses, Avilda Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ruppersberg, Allen, 1944- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sedivy, Richard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Solomon, Jerry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Holly Solomon Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Honor Fraser Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Margo Leavin Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mizuno Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nicholas Wilder Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of California, Irvine -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of California, Los Angeles -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/