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: The obsessively detailed paintings of the young London artist Anj Smith (born in 1978) were shown solo for the first time this Spring at Nyehaus Gallery in New York. This limited edition companion catalogue, designed by the award-winning New York firm, Helicopter, is the first publication of Smith's career. In it, portions of the paintings are enlarged so that the reader can truly conceive of the depth and intensity of Smith's labor. The work is loaded with references to the history of Western painting, and captures all sorts of pathological aspects to the contemporary human psyche, including our obsessions with newness and the unobtainable perfection promised by haute couture. Here, the artist's fetish for detail is incorporated into the design of the book itself. From the custom-printed ribbon which wraps around the cover to the flood of color on the inside of the French-folded sheets, this volume is an equally peculiar and imaginative context for the display of Smith's work. Roberta Smith reviewed the work featured in Smith's Nyehaus show in The New York Times
: "Decadence, decay and the dark side have become the province of horror films and death-metal bands, but artists like Albrecht DÃ¼rer and Hieronymus Bosch laid the foundation for this centuries before record bins overflowed with kitsch versions of "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Now Anj Smith, a young British painter, is trying to reclaim part of that legacy."