Barbara T. Smith

Barbara T. Smith, Field Piece, performance/installation, 1971. Courtesy of the artist

 

Barbara T. Smith is one of the pioneers of performance and body art. Along with such artists as Chris Burden, Allan Kaprow, and Paul McCarthy, Smith redefined the nature of art by creating durational performances in which she used her own body often at some personal risk. Beginning in 1968, Smith was foregrounding her own corporeal and gendered experience in experimental performances such as Ritual Meal and Feed Me. In the 21st Century Odyssey, Smith embarked upon a journey quest for spiritual transformation thus re-inscribing the tourist landscape. Her life long commitment to alternative spirituality as in Celebration of the Holy Squash anticipates many contemporary artists who incorporate spiritual practices in art making. A co-founder of “f space” in Santa Ana, Smith also worked with alternative spaces from the 1970’s in Los Angeles such as LAICA (Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art) and Close Radio, and was the Director of the New Gallery at the 18th Street Arts Center.


Pacific Standard Time was an unprecedented collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Initiated through grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time took place for six months beginning October 2011. Pacific Standard Time was an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor was Bank of America.