melanie smith
fordlandia i, 2013 / 2014
acrylic enamel on acrylic
160 x 140 cm

Since 1989 she has lived and worked in Mexico City, an experience that has enormously influenced her works ever since. Her work has been characterized by a certain re-reading of the formal and aesthetic categories of avant-gardes and post-avant-garde movements, problematized at the sites and within the horizons of heterotopias. Her production is intimately related to a certain expanded vision of the notion of modernity, maintaining a relationship both with what this means in Latin America, particularly in Mexico, and with the implication this has for her formal explorations as a critical moment in the aesthetic-political structure of modernity and late modernity.


Her earlier pieces considered Mexico City itself, recording its multitudes, its violence, its banality, and its clandestine nature and at the same time its inherent decomposition. The most outstanding piece from this cycle is the video Spiral city (2002). In another of her works, she broadens the notions of place and non-place by documenting the small town of Parres on the outskirts of the city.  She produced a trilogy of 35mm films and a series of paintings and installations that rework the modernist idea of the monochromatic.


Melanie Smith was born in 1965 in Poole, United Kingdom, and later moved to Mexico City, Mexico. She participated in the 54th Venice Biennale, in Italy (2011); the 8th Mercosul Biennial, in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2011); and the 8th Havana Biennial, in Cuba (2003). Her works are represented in museum and private collections throughout the world, including Arnold and Mabel Backman Foundation, California, USA; CIFO, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, USA; Collección  Coppel, Culiacán, Mexico; Daros Latinamérica, Zurich, Switzerland; Essl Collection, Klosterneuburg , Austria; EVN Collection, Maria Enzersdorf, Austria; Fundación BBVA Bancomer, Mexico City, Mexico; Fundación Colección Jumex, Ecatepec, Mexico; Fundación Televisa, Mexico City, Mexico; Fundación Vergel, Cuernavaca, Mexico; Grupo de los Dieciséis, Ciudad de México, Mexico; Inhotim, Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Institut Valencià d’Art Moderne, Valencia, Spain; Lucille & Ronald Neeley Foundation, San Diego, USA; MALI, Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru; MAS, Museo de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo de Santander y Cantabria, Spain; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, USA; MOMA, New York, USA; MUAC, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City; MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Castilla y León, Spain; Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam,  The Netherlands; Tate Modern, London, UK; The Diane and Bruce Halle Collection, Scottsade, USA; Villa Merkel, Stuttgart, Germany; Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK, among others.