News
News
October 27, 2023
Leslie Smolan Lecture
Chicago, IL
Chicago Photo Forum
Rodney Smith:
A Leap of Faith
October 27, 2023
Paul Martineau
AIPAD Talks
New York, NY
Staley-Wise Gallery
Rodney Smith:
A Leap of Faith
November 1, 2023
Rebecca Senf
Santa Fe Workshops
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Rodney Smith:
A Remembrance with Dr. Rebecca Senf
events
RODNEY SMITH’S UK DEBUT
May 16, 2024, London Staley-Wise Gallery’s solo Rodney Smith exhibition at Photo London was the first showing of Smith’s work in the UK, and included work created between 1987 and 2016, before his untimely passing at age 68. The exhibit also included a panel discussion “Surreal Realities: The Artistry of Rodney Smith” with Leslie Smolan, Executive Director of the Rodney Smith Estate and photography scholars Susanna Brown and Francis Hodgson, who discussed how Rodney Smith blurs the line between reality and fantasy.
EVENTS
A WARM RECEPTION AT ANNE LOUCKS GALLERY
September 29, 2023, Chicago Anne Loucks Gallery opened the new exhibition, “Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith” in conjunction with the Getty Museums’ retrospective monograph and book signing by Getty photography curator Paul Martineau. In reviewing the show, Joe Rosenthal wrote, “Rodney Smith’s iconic photographs exert a gravitational pull. These are not images that rest quietly on walls. They beg to be looked at, pulling you in with their stunning technical perfection and evocations of exuberance, mystery, whimsy, heroism, and vulnerability.” The show runs through November 30th.
EVENTS
STALEY-WISE GALLERY DEBUTS RODNEY SMITH
September 15, 2023, New York City “Showcased at Staley-Wise Gallery in beautiful large posthumous prints, and in a sumptuous new monograph supervised by Paul Martineau, curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, Smith’s fashion pictures, most of them taken in the ’90’s and aughts, offered an alternative to the sex-and-violence sensationalism that juiced fashion photography at that time.” writes New York Times journalist Arthur Lubow. 
EVENTS
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A GALLERIST AND ARTIST
July 7, 2023, Sun Valley, ID L’Anne Gilman and Rodney Smith just “got” each other. It was a relationship all artists hope to have with their gallerists — one of support, trust and love. And that relationship transcended Rodney’s passing. “Leap of Faith”, an exhibition at Gilman Contemporary gathered together Rodney’s many fans, including L’Anne, Getty photography curator Paul Martineau and Leslie Smolan to discuss how the artists work continues to impact fashion photography history to this day.
EVENTS
GETTY MUSEUM CELEBRATES RODNEY SMITH​
May 21, 2023, Los Angeles To launch the new Getty publication Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith, a distinguished panel including the book’s author and Getty curator Paul Martineau, Center for Creative Photography’s Chief Curator Rebecca Senf, Smith’s wife and creative partner Leslie Smolan, and Fahey Klein Gallery owner David Fahey discussed Smith’s imaginative and alluring photographs and his evolution as an artist. “What a FANTASTIC panel discussion today – best I’ve seen in a LONG while. I definitely could have listened to all of you discuss Rodney Smith’s life and legacy for a good few hours more.” Watch it here
EVENTS
ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY RETROSPECTIVE
May 6, 2023, Boston, MA Journalist Elin Spring writes, “While his name may not be as familiar as Irving Penn or Richard Avedon, his distinctive images are instantly recognizable. Playful and alluring, sophisticated and stylish, Rodney Smith’s trendsetting photographs belie his complex and unsettled character. A radiant retrospective of his work is being celebrated in “A Leap of Faith” solo exhibition at Robert Klein Gallery in Boston through June 30th, 2023 and in the book recently published by J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.”
Word of Mouth
null It’s crazy to imagine that someone who could make that picture of the model in the orange dress on the sea plane, with that incredible aqua water, and that gray blue sky, wasn’t always a color photographer? I mean, it blows your mind that someone who’d been working in black and white could then be capable of doing that? null
REBECCA SENF, CHIEF CURATOR, CENTER FOR CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY, TUCSON
ON VIEW
THE CURIOUS AND CREATIVE EYE — THE VISUAL LANGUAGE OF HUMOR
November 12 – December 13, 2022 Holden Luntz Gallery in Palm Beach Florida is exhibiting the work of Rodney Smith, alongside other celebrated photographers, Elliot Erwitt, Sandy Skoglund, Arthur Elgort, Sid Avery and William Wegman, who remind us that humor in art is often an escape hatch from what ails us.
ACCESSION
MUSEUMS ACQUIRE RODNEY SMITH PHOTOGRAPHS
August 2022 The Portland Museum of Art, Portland Maine, and the Princeton University Museum of Art have acquired eight lifetime prints of photographer Rodney Smith.

“We just had the opportunity to revisit the prints — they are simply beautiful. We look forward to putting new acquisitions up in the galleries relatively soon after we acquire them. It’s a wonderful way to introduce the work to our community.”

ANJULI LEBOWITZ, JUDY GLICKMAN LAUDER ASSOCIATE CURATOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY, PORTLAND MUSEUM OF ART
ON VIEW
ART + FASHION
June 25 – September 24, 2022 ART + FASHION, an exhibition at Staley-Wise Gallery in New York examines the link between painting, sculpture, and photography, as documented by some of history’s greatest fashion photographers.

Smith’s meticulous homage to Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres famous 1814 painting Le Grande Odalisque (click here) celebrates the naked form and also highlights the anatomical inaccuracies depicted in Ingres’ work. The distortion and elongation of the model’s body and arm in the painting were harshly criticized when it debuted and Ingres’ priority of sensuality over accuracy is one of the reasons this artwork is often mentioned in discussions about the depiction of femininity and female nudity in art.
ON VIEW
Hermès holiday 2021 campaign celebrates Rodney Smith

December 2021 

Rosemary Feitelberg at WWD writes, “Nearly five years after the anniversary of the death of photographer Rodney Smith, there is a renewed appreciation for his work.

Hermès used several of his images as the centerpiece for its holiday campaign and the J. Paul Getty Museum is acquiring 10 of his works for its permanent collection. The Rodney Smith Estate will be leading a series of virtual discussions starting Dec. 8 with “What Makes Fashion Photography Art.””

Go to YouTube 

EVENTS
What Makes Fashion Photography Art?
Wednesday, December 8, 2021, 6 PM EST  Zoom Webinar Join us as Paul Martineau, Curator of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, hosts a discussion on photographs that transcend their origins to be collected by Museums. Paul Martineau has been one of the world’s foremost advocates in acknowledging the importance and impact of fashion photography on our lives. Leading the acquisition of Rodney Smith’s photographs for inclusion in the permanent collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Martineau will host a conversation with Etheleen Staley, Founder, Staley Wise Gallery, Viktória Vámosi, International Model, and Dennis Freedman, Founding Creative Director of W Magazine to discuss what makes Smith’s images transcend their original commission. Go to YouTube 
SWEDISH EXHIBITION OF RODNEY SMITH PHOTOGRAPHS
April 16, 2021 The old Court of Appeals building in Malmo Sweden is now open for public use, including a gallery that features the work of Rodney Smith. Curated by Nette Johansson of The PhotoGallery, the exhibit will be on view from April 7 to August 1, 2021.
SEEN ON SOCIAL

Life imitates art. Amidst a wave of Coronavirus self-quarantining, international fans recreate Rodney Smith’s iconic images at home.

ON VIEW
Human in Nature: The Art and Wit of Rodney Smith
December 6, 2019 Nyack, New York Samantha Reinders of PDN writes, “Human in Nature: The Art & Wit of Rodney Smith” is on display at The Edward Hopper House Museum. Featuring 20 of the late photographer’s images, and curated by his wife and long-time collaborator, designer Leslie Smolan, the show highlights the photographer’s love of nature as the source of witty, surreal images…They evoke a sense of Alice in Wonderland spirit, of wonder and beauty and all things nice. The show is on view from December 7, 2019 – March 8, 2020.
Word of Mouth
null Every few years a photographer emerges on the world stage with a unique voice and vision that immediately sets their work apart from anyone else. Cartier Bresson, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Annie Leibovitz… Rodney Smith’s extraordinary photographs are destined to join the ranks of these masters. null
Jennifer Patton, director, Edward Hopper House Museum
SEEN ON SOCIAL

Inspiration or infringement? Rodney Smith’s photographs have entered the public zeitgeist. Spanning the globe, his largest group of instagram followers comes from Russia, Italy and the United States. Have some enthusiastic fans taken this a step too far?

Word of Mouth
null I’ve spent my life in pursuit of beauty. Observing beauty, and over time creating beauty for myself and or others. I search for beauty in the natural world, but I can see how Rodney searched for it in his soul. null

BARBARA BARRY, INTERIOR DESIGNER

EVENTS
The Rodney Smith Legacy At the smithsonian
October 17, 2018, Washington DC A retrospective of Rodney Smith’s iconic photography, led by Leslie Smolan, Smith’s wife and creative partner was presented at the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center. So great was Smith’s creative desire that he left behind an astounding body of work that stretches from 1970 until 2016—200,000 negatives, 18,000 contact sheets, and 8000 images printed.
November 10, 2018 As part of the Smithsonian Associates Art of Living interview series, Paul Vogelzang, of The Not Old Better Show podcast, interviews Leslie Smolan on the photography of Rodney Smith. Go to podcast
Word of Mouth
null Rodney Smith’s art reflects a singular view of the world as a place of magic, delight, beauty and whimsy. null

FREDIE ADELMAN, DIRECTOR, SMITHSONIAN ASSOCIATES

IN PRINT
You can find Rodney’s work in the latest edition of Traditional Home. A large scale photograph by Rodney Smith adds a shot of vibrant color to a Denver home designed by Interior Designer Charlotte Moss
Word of Mouth
null We loved working for someone who got us to do our best work.  null

JARED BARK, FOUNDER, BARK FRAMEWORKS

ON VIEW
IT’S A COLORFUL, COLORFUL,
COLORFUL WORLD: PHOTOGRAPHS BY RODNEY SMITH AT AIPAD!
April 4–7, 2019, New York City Long acclaimed for his iconic black and white images that combine landscapes and portraiture, Rodney Smith only turned his eye to the world of color in 2002. Staley-Wise Gallery debuted this portion of Smith’s work at The Photography Show by AIPAD in a Solo Exhibit Booth at Pier 94.
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