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Smith, Shannon & Benes at Bienville

New Orleans Times-Picayune, 1974

... Smith has for years been producing gigantic woodcuts that he prints on paper and canvas. The canvas ones he paints over in such a way that it is impossible to tell what method has been used to produce the image.

The large fantasy figures have flowing garments and strange headdresses, and are closely related to art nouveau work. In the past, Smith has been content with painting them black on a white ground with and occasional touch of red. The ones on paper have always come off the best in my view.

For whatever reason, in the current group Smith has forsaken paper in favor of canvas and introduced a variety of strong colors. The results water down the drama of the black and white images without adding real color interest in its place.

In addition, several of the images have been sort of "cut down to size" to produce silkscreen prints that are flat, click and very commercial-looking in their fancy aluminum frames. Other artists have done this in order to get some distribution and sales, but it's a real pity to see these images, which depend greatly on their large scale, reduced to poster art. ...