VINCENT SMITH (1929 - 2003) Someone to Watch Over Me.
Oil monotype on black wove paper, 1989. 940x648 mm; 37x25 1/2 inches. Signed in oil, lower right.
Provenance: G. R. N'Namdi Gallery, Birmingham, MI, with the label on the frame back; private collection, Michigan.
This oil monotype by Smith is an excellent example of his colorful jazz imagery in his late career. Franklin Sirmans has noted the inherent affinity of the artist's subject to this medium: "The one-time-only applicaton of paint on a Plexiglas plate to create a monoprint is comparable to the improvisation that is essential to jazz. Each brush stroke is representative of the improvisatory method." These monotypes were made at Robert Blackburn's Printmaking Workshop, where the artist created almost all of his prints.
In 1990, his jazz monotypes traveled nationally in the exhibition Riding on a Blue Note, which was underwritten by the Henry Street Settlement. In 1997, his monotypes were included in Seeing Jazz, which was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, and also traveled nationally. Monotypes were also featured in Smith's retrospective Dreams, Myths and Realities, organized by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell in 2001. St. James p. 501.