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Melancholy Objects
Lenard Smith

Melancholy Objects, Lenard Smith

Melancholy Objects, Lenard SmithMelancholy Objects
Lenard Smith
Perimeter Editions


First Edition of 500
110 pages
210 x 125 mm
ISBN 9781922545121


It’s no mistake that Lenard Smith’s new book borrows its title from Susan Sontag’s 1977 essay of the same name. Melancholy Objects – the Los Angeles-based artist’s first publication for Perimeter Editions – grounds the photographic endeavour in the surreal, the introspective, and the referential. Working in the tradition of the ragpicker, Smith sifts through personal and found objects to create formal compositions that gently intersect sculpture with the still life, broaching new purposes and hierarchies, and pulsing with a sense of humour, play, and solemnity.
Smith’s broader career has taken a similarly unconventional footing. While his photographic work has skirted elements of documentary, landscape, still life, portraiture, and editorial, it has never quite fallen for their traps. His studio practice – which also spans sculpture, painting, sound, film, and bookmaking – further informs his photographic output. His Melancholy Objects feel like a perfect confluence for these strands.

With the trace of the artist’s hand ever present, these images of balancing, totemic postures and surreal design configurations ignite memories that confront both the familiar and the unknown. Analog references emerge, only to collapse into new compositions and perspectives. Unlikely materials and choreographies elicit a furrow or a smirk. While history and function inspire each photograph, it is the imagination that subverts and ungrounds them. In the spirit of Dadaism, we’re left happily adrift in their presence.

About the Artist
Lenard Smith (b. 1975, United States) is a first generation Ghanaian-American interdisciplinary artist living and working in Los Angeles, California. Smith’s MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from Bard College grounds his work in traditional practices and experimental methodologies.

About the Publisher
Perimeter Editions is the award-winning publishing imprint of Melbourne-based bookstore Perimeter Books and distribution house Perimeter Distribution. Releasing its first publication in 2012, Perimeter Editions’ focus rests on publishing autonomous books in close collaboration with photographers, artists, curators and writers. Its publications exhibit a criticality and sensitivity to content and form.