Kimber Smith (USA; born 1922 Boston, MA; died 1981 Southampton, NY) had his first exhibition at The New Gallery in 1951, where his work was paired with the paintings of Joan Mitchell. That same gallery gave him his first solo exhibition only three years later. In 1954, Smith travelled to Paris where he lived and worked in an expatriate community of American painters who included Joan Mitchell, Sam Francis, and Shirley Jaffe. His work was included in the 1958 survey exhibition of American abstraction Die Neue Amerikanische Malerei at Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland, organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Smith taught in Ohio at the Dayton Art Institute, and the museum presented a solo exhibition of his work in 1965. Smith moved back to New York in 1966 and earned significant critical acclaim; he exhibited his work at a number of galleries, including André Emmerich, and received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1971.
After Smith’s death in 1981, his work was exhibited posthumously at the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, PA (1985); the American Center, Paris (1985, 1988); Vitalita Nell’Arte, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, which traveled to Palazzo Grassi, Venice, and Kunsthalle, Recklinghausen, Germany (1986). A retrospective exhibition was held at Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland (2004), which traveled to the Josef Albers Museum, Bottrop, Germany (2004-2005). His work has been exhibited recently at Modern Art, London (2011), Graham & Sons, New York (2011), Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris (2016), and at the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid (2018-2019).
Kimber Smith’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Dayton Art Institute; Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland; Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna, Austria; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Reims, Reims, France; among others.