Mel Smothers grew up in Northern California in the 1960’s and received his BFA from the University of California at Davis, studying under Wayne Thiebaud, and his MFA from the University of Idaho. After leaving California in 2004, Smothers moved his studio to New York, first to Brooklyn and then to Chelsea, where he currently works.
Featured at the gallery are energetic, colorful abstracted landscapes with oil on canvas from his series “Mountain Lake”. This series references to the Hopi shaman Mountain Lake, who influenced psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Carl Jung during their brief but profound encounter in New Mexico. Smothers’ paintings combine rich color, painterly brushstrokes, and combination of opaque and translucent layers to create a striking and dynamic surface. Smothers explains, “For me, painting is about the journey. That needs to be said. Validation comes and goes. What remains is the visual road map created by the struggle of painting. The story of pushing paint around, and as the years go by, finding it is the reason to get up in the morning.”
Smothers has had an extensive exhibition history in both California and New York, including solo and group exhibitions at Pivot Gallery, Pence Gallery, Morris Graves Museum, Cooper Union and more. He is in major public and private collections including Brooklyn Museum, University of California at Davis and Sacramento, Merrill Lynch, South Lake Tahoe Public Library, Derfner Judaica Museum and more.