Robert Smith“The Shadows Know” at Viridian Artists Gallery.

Viridian Artists, one of the longest-running galleries in NYC is proud to present an exciting new exhibit:

Robert Smith “The Shadows Know”
April 16th–May 11th 2024
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 18th: 6 –8 p.m.

Chelsea NY: Viridian Artists is pleased to present an exhibition of extraordinary photographs by Robert Smith entitled “The Shadows Know.” The show opens April 16th and continues through May 11th with a reception Thursday, April 18th, 6 to 8 p.m.

The photography of Robert Smith offers a new context to the tradition of classical Chiaroscuro. He shows us a different, dynamic way of capturing Chiaroscuro through a series of close-up photographic images of curtains taken during the last half decade. With a simple, natural fiber cotton curtain and a window opening, a developing breeze begins to create movement against the wooden sash. Of course, the play of light being such a fundamental touchstone, the accompanying darks and shadows in ephemeral folds are revelatory, creating all manner of expressive, visual possibilities.

In effect, Smith is creating a connection of the human centric world of fabric to the natural world of air, in movement, in a symbiotic relationship that becomes a fascinating, visual landscape. At that, his oeuvre has focused mainly on the close-up, undisturbed natural landscape, yet he sees this tangent as a logical extension of interest as he ages with accompanying physical limitations. It’s an example we may take to heart.

The images themselves range from the simple to the complex, from the bold and dramatic to the lyrical and sublime. Encompassing powerfully evocative blacks measured against mysterious and magical shadows, they bring to mind abstract expressionist compositions akin to Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell paintings and Aaron Siskind photographs. Historically, Siskind and Minor White are two of his favorite creators, good company.

Smith lives in New York and has a summer studio on Monhegan Island off midcoast Maine, steeped in landscape art history, and where these photographs were taken. There he leads “Steps to Seeing” walks opening eyes to the richness of the natural landscape while acknowledging the importance of the practice of Sensory Awareness, a discipline of living more in the present moment that has given him a special way of seeing, informing his vision. Smith has a deep body of work from Monhegan and Point Lobos, California. His photographs are in numerous private and corporate collections in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Africa and throughout Europe. One final point, Robert has a good sense of humor and insists there is no truth to the rumor that he is, in some way, related to Lamont Cranston! Enjoy this exhibition.

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 6pm
For further information please contact: Vernita Nemec, Gallery Director
or Jenny Belin, Assistant Director at
or view the gallery website:
Instagram link:

Viridian Gallery
547 West 27th or 548 West 28th Street, Suite #632
New York, NY 10001 (212) 414-4040

Leave a Comment