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Emily Smith - Messy Women // Gosia - Beneath the Surface

  • Paradigm Gallery + Studio 746 South 4th Street Philadelphia, PA, 19147 United States (map)

Emily Smith Messy Women // Gosia Beneath the Surface
April 27 – June 16, 2018

Opening Reception:
April 27, 2018 • 5:30 – 10pm

Paradigm Gallery is pleased to present two exhibitions, Emily Smith's Messy Women and Gosia's Beneath the Surface, opening April 27, 2018. Messy Women is a continuation of Smith's series of watercolor paintings on paper, surrounded by fabric. For Beneath the Surface Gosia debuts porcelain busts, a new medium for the artist, along with ceramic, polymer gypsum, and resin sculptures. While separate exhibitions, each artist explores the human tendency to dwell in superficiality – how we are easily swayed by first impressions and surface details – and aims to counteract it through encouraging deeper introspection by the viewer. The exhibitions will be held concurrently in the gallery until June 16, 2018. 

Philadelphia-based artist Emily Smith incorporates craft into her portraiture–each painting is wrapped in a fabric frame–to construct “playful”, yet “subversive” pieces that explore female archetypes by way of a gender-nonconforming subject. Messy Women portrays the artist’s friend and collaborator, Messapotamia LeFae, as a model for the investigation into “what a woman is supposed to be.” Large, bright floral arrangements serve as the backdrop to LeFae, who is illustrated in ink in various expressive poses, evocative of emotional states of being.

In her figurative sculptures, Toronto-based sculptor Gosia expresses human intuition and introspection, crafting her painterly pieces in earthenware, resin, and polymer gypsum. To be viewed for the first time at Beneath the Surface, Gosia has begun working with porcelain to create fragile busts. Her muted greyscale busts and life-size figures are rendered in an illustrative way, with elongated limbs and downcast gazes, to communicate “inner contemplation” and “serene melancholy.” The three-dimensional likenesses are gathered from acquaintances and/or strangers and combined with an idea of how the sculpture should be represented. Beneath the Surface brings together artwork that conveys how the inner workings of the mind are viewed externally, highlighting how these personal meditations connect us all.

Both Messy Women and Beneath the Surface impel the viewer to search the paintings and sculpture for depth beyond exterior details, extending an invitation to look closer, think harder, and contemplate existence from within.

* If you would like to receive the digital collector preview for this exhibition prior to the opening, please email *

Later Event: April 27
River Remains