Melanie Smith was born in England in 1965. She lives and works between Mexico City and London. Her work, in diverse media, has reflected on the extended field of painting within the history of art and its entanglement with moving image. In earlier pieces she illustrates the idiosyncrasies of multitudes, chaos and aberrant forms within urbanism. Later works extend towards the effects of extractivism at specific eco-systems and environments in Latina America. The spiral and the palimpsest are recurring forms of thought mode, working as double helixes that entwine relationships between industrialization, nature, body, archaeology and scale. She is interested in fragmented montaje, and creates filmic and performative experiences that often allude to behind the scene productions and political farse. Mostly, her work shatters any rational significance, as a way of thinking through contingent forms and being.

She has exhibited at numerous institutions including PS1 and MOMA, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate Modern, London; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Museo Tamayo, and MUCA Campus UNAM, Mexico City; Museo Amparo, Puebla; The Modern, Fort Worth; SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Santa Fe. In 2011 she represented Mexico at the 54th Venice Biennale. A panoramic exhibition of her work was shown at Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, in 2014, travelling to the CAC, Vilnius and the Museum Boijmans, Rotterdam. In 2018 she was included in the Liverpool Biennial. Melanie Smith: Farce and Artifice a panoramic survey, was presented at MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona in 2018, and traveled to MUAC Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, UNAM, Mexico City, Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico, 2019 and MARCO Monterrey in 2020.

Education
1984 BA in Fine Arts, Reading University, England

Solo exhibitions

2022
• Remain detached, Sicardi, Houston Texas, USA, Nov. 10 - Jan. 19
• Fordlandia Video Room, MASP, Sao Paolo, Brazil, cur. Leandro Muniz, July 1 - Aug. 28
• 5 Minutes, Pavement Gallery Manchester, Manchester, March 19 - April 29
• Fifteen Minutes of Sublime Meditation, MUAC, Room 10 (online), Mexico City, Mexico, Feb. 14 - Aug. 14

2021
• Fifteen Minutes of Sublime Meditation, Proyecto Paralelo, Mexico City, Mexico, Nov - Dec.
• Maria Elena, Ayer, Guadalajara, Mexico, April 23 - June 10
• Leave it to the Amateurs, Parafin, London, UK, April 3 - June 26
• Bare, Kunsthallo Online, March 19 - April 9

2020
• Maria Elena, UK Mexican Arts Society, UK, Oct. 1-25
• Farsa y artificio, MARCO, Monterrey, Mexico, cur. Tanya Barson and Alejandra Labastida, March 5 - July 12
• Fordlandia, Cairns Art Gallery, Cairns, Australia, cur. Julietta Park, March 20 - May. 3

2019
• Farsa y artificio, MUAC, Mexico City, Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico, cur. Tanya Barson and Alejandra Labastida, May 25 - Oct. 6.
• Digging up the present, Saint Leger Centre d´Art Contemporain, Pougues-les-Eaux, France, Sept. 14 - Dec. 31

2018
• Parte o Pedazo, Museo de Arte de la Fundación José Cuervo, Tequila, Mexico, Nov. 10 - Feb. 1
• Maria Elena, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland, Aug. 30 - Oct. 13
• Farsa y artificio, MACBA, Barcelona, Spain, Cur. Tanya Barson, May 17 - Oct. 4 (cat.)
• Fake and Farce: Backdrops for Seven Scenes, Proyecto Paralelo, Mexico City, Mexico, Feb. 6 - March 24

2017
• Atlas de ausencias. Melanie Smith, Galeria La Caja Negra, Madrid, Spain, Sept. 14 - Nov. 18.
• Obscuridades Bucólicas, La Tallera, Cuernavaca, México, March 25 - June 25.

2016
• Abandoned Bodies and Uncertain Futures, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, USA, Nov. 4 - Dec. 17  

2015
• Fordlandia, LULU, Mexico City, Mexico, Aug. 8 - Sept. 13
• Maps, mud and mundo(s), Galería Proyecto Paralelo, Mexico City, Mexico, Feb. 3 - April 11

2014
• Fordlandia, Galerie Nara Roesler, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Nov. 18 - Feb. 1
• Melanie Smith, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands, cur. Sjarel Ex, Oct. 10 - Jan. 11 (cat.)
• Crocodiles and Elevators, CCA Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania, cur. Asta Vaiciulyte, Sept. 12 - Oct. 19
• Fordlandia, Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK, cur. Anthony Spira, April 10 - June 15 (cat.)
• Melanie Smith, CAMH, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, USA, cur. Bill Arning, March 22 - June 15 (cat.)
• Green is the Colour, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, USA, Feb. 27 - April 19

2013
• Xilitla. FLORA ars+natura, Bogota, Colombia, Sept. 21- Oct. 19
• Irreversible/ Illegible /Unstable, Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico, Feb. 24 - May 27

2012
• Melanie Smith, Fundaçao Joaquim Nabuco, Recife, Brazil, Oct. 1- Nov. 18 (cat.)
• Melanie Smith, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland, April 26 - May 26
• Short Circuit, Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany, April 22 - June 24 (cat.)

2011
• Wall Eyed, Galerie Nara Roesler, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Aug. 18 - Sept. 13
• Red Square Impossible Pink, Mexican Pavilion, 54th International Venice Biennale, Venice,  Italy, cur. José Luis Barrios, June 4 - Nov. 27 (cat.)
• Bulto, Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru, cur. Tatiana Cuevas, Feb. 15 - June 26 (cat.)    

2010
• Xilitla: incidentes fuera de eje, El Eco, Mexico City, Mexico, cur. Paola Santoscoy, Nov. 17 - Jan. 16 (cat.)

2009
• Spiral city and other vicarious pleasures, MIT List, Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, USA, Feb. 5 - April 6 (cat.)

2007
• Spiral city and other vicarious pleasures. Melanie Smith, The Laboratory of Art and Ideas at Beldar, Lakewood, Colorado, USA, cur. Cuauhtémoc Medina, Sept. 26 - Dec. 30 (cat.)

2006
• Parres trilogy, Art Now, Tate Britain, London, England, June 17- Aug. 13

2004
• Cerca series: Melanie Smith, San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, USA, Nov. 21 - Jan. 9

Group exhibitions
2023
• The World We Live In, Levinsky Gallery, Plymouth, UK, cur. Ann Jones

2022
• The World We Live In, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, UK, cur. Ann Jones, Sept. 18 - Jan. 1
• 30 Years Anniversary Exhibition, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland, Sept. 2 - Oct. 14
• Summer Contemporaries, Sicardi, Houston Texas, USA, July 14 - Aug. 20
• Performing PAC: Take me to the place I love, PAC, Milan, Italy, cur. Diego Sileo, July 12 - Sep. 11
• Are You Comfortable?, On the Inside, Amsterdam, cur. Annemarie Galani, March 27- July 31
• Abrasive Paradise, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoot, The Netherlands, Jan. cur. Robbert Ross, Feb. 5 - July 3
• Sólo lo maravilloso es bello. El surrealismo en diálogo. Museo Boijmans Van Beuningen – México, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, June 3 - Oct. 2
• The World We Live In, Leicester Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, UK , cur. Ann Jones Feb. 5 - May 2
• Four Positions in Painting, Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Switzerland, Jan 14 - Mar. 12


2021
•Landscape and Urban Living, Stadtgalerie Kiel, Kiel, Germany, cur. Claus Friede, Sept. 18 - Nov. 28
•Cien del MUAC, MUAC, Mexico City, Mexico, June 12 - Oct. 17
•The Complex of Labour, Scharaun, Berlin, Germany, cur. Jaro Straub and Olaf Stüber, June 12 - 19
•Time in / Time Out, Proyecto Paralelo, Mexico City, Mexico, Abril 27 - May. 2
•Agitation Co-op Film, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, April 20 - July 17
•El Tiempo de las cosas, Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico, cur. Tatiana Cuevas, Feb. 28 - Dec. 31
•Epílogo, Arteriam, Mexico City, Mexico, Feb. 27 - May 2

2020
• Stayin’ Alive, Another Space, New York, Nov. 9 - March 25 
• The Same For Everyone, Parafin, London, UK, July 22 - Sept. 12
• Nature, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, USA, Oct. 8 - Dec. 19
• Boijmans Ahoy drive-thru museum, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Rotterdam Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Aug.1 - 28
• Tools for Utopia. Works from the Daros Latinamerica Collection, Kunstmuseum Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Switzerland, cur. Marta Dziewańska and Martin Waldmeier, Oct. 30 - Jan 24
• Essex Road 6, Tintype, London, UK, Jan 10 - Feb.9.

2019
• Inter/medio, ESPAC, Mexico City, Mexico, cur. Cristina Torres and Laura Orozco, Nov. 29- March 31
• Fin del Futuro, La Tallera, Cuernavaca, Mexico, cur. Adrian Notz, Nov.23 - March 1
• Esplendor, Rivera Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico, Oct. 5 – 27
• El múltiple y su propiedad, Galeria La Caja Negra, Madrid, Spain, Sept 12- Nov. 14
• Gradation, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, UK, cur. Paul Carey-Kent, July 18 - Sept. 21
• Presencia lúcida, ESPAC, Mexico City, Mexico, cur. Ana Torres Valle Pons, June 28- Sept. 28
• City Prince/sses, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France, June 20 – Sept. 8
• Museo Tamayo Collection, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico, May 15 – May 15
• Weltausstellung", Johann Jacobs Museum, Zurich, Switzerland, cur. Roger Buergel, May. 16 - Nov. 3

2018
• Beautiful world, where are you?, Liverpool Biennal, Liverpool, UK, Cur. Kitty Scott and Sally Tallant, July 14 - Oct. 28
• Hello World. Revisioning a Collection, Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Cur. Melanie Roumiguiere, Apr. 28 - Aug. 26
• Dwelling Poetically: Mexico City, a case study, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia, Apr. 21 - June 24
• Mobile Worlds, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany, cur. Roger Buergel, Apr. 12 - Oct. 14
• The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art, PAMM, Miami, USA, Apr. 6 - Sept. 2.
• Il pleut, Tulipe, CRAC Alsace, Altkirch, France, Comm. Elfi Turpin, Feb. 13 - May 13.
• Gegen die Strömung, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany, cur. Friez Emslander, Jan. 25 – April 29.

2017
• Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany, Oct.
• Utopia / Dystopia, Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia MAAT, Lisbon, Portugal, March 21 - Aug. 21
• Málverkasýning, i8 gallery, Reikiavik, Iceland, Feb. 9 - April 22
• Constitución Mexicana, 1917-2017, imágenes y voces ,Palacio Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico, Feb. 8 - Sept. 17

2016
• XII Bienal FEMSA, Centro de las Artes, Monterrey, Mexico, Oct. 13.
• Debt, Territory ,Utopia, Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany, cur. Eugen Blume and Catherine Nichols, July 1 - Nov. 6
• Surreal Encounters. Collecting the Marvellous, cur. Saskia van Kampen-Prein, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland, June 4 - Sept. 11, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany, July 7 - Jan. 22, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Nov. 11 - May 28.
• Without Restraint, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, June 3 - Oct. 23
• Beyond 2°, Museum of Contamporary Art, Santa Barbara, USA, March 12 - June 19

2015
• Many Things Brought from One Climate to Another, Art Gallery of Ontario, Ontario, Canada, Nov. - July
• So-Called Utopias, Logan Center Gallery, Chicago, USA, Nov. 20 - Jan. 10
• Strange Currencies. Art & Action in Mexico City 1990-2000, The Galleries at Moore, Philadelphia, USA, Sept. 19 - Dec. 12
• A room of one’s own. Fragilidades sobre el exterior, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City, Mexico, May 21 - Sept. 6
• Framing Desire: Photography and Video, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Dallas, USA, Feb. 21 - Aug. 23
• Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915 -2015, Whitechapel Gallery, London, England, Jan. 15 - April 6 (cat.)
• The Disorderliness of Things, Galerie de l'UQAM, Montreal, Canada, Jan. 9 - Feb. 14

2014
• Do Objeto para o Mundo, Instituto Inhotim, traveling exhibition, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Dec. 12 - March 8
• En hombros de gigantes, Museo Experimental el Eco, Mexico City, Mexico, Nov. 2 - Jan. 18
• Unsettled Landscapes – SITElines: New Perspectives on Art of the Americas, SITE Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico, USA, cur. Candice Hopkins, Lucía Sanromán, Janet Dees & Irene Hofmann, July 20 - Jan. 11 (cat.)

2013
• Assembly: I Extend My Arms, Tate Britain, London, UK, cur. Stuart Comer, George Clark, Melissa Blanchflower, Simon Payne y Andrew Vallance, Nov. 23
• Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa - Art and Film, LACMA, Los Angeles, USA, Sept. 22 - Feb. 2 (cat.)
• Wanås Konst 2013, Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden, cur. Elisabeth Millquist, May 18 - Oct. 27

2012
• The Stumbling Present: Ruins in Contemporary Art, Art, Design & Architecture Museum, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, cur. Elyse Gonzales, Oct. 12 - Jan. 27 (cat.)
• Audience as Subject: Part 2, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, San Francisco, USA, Feb. 18 - May 27

2011
• Los sueños de una nación, Museo Nacional de Arte, MUNAL, Mexico City, Mexico , Nov. 11 - Jan. 29 (cat.)
• 8th Mercosul Biennial: Essays on Geopoetics, Porto Alegre, Brazil, Sept. 10 - Nov. 15
• The Smithson Effect, Utah Museum of Fine Art, Salt Lake City, USA, cur. Jill Dawsey, March 10 - June 26 (cat.)

2010
• Espectrografías: paradojas de la historia, MUAC, Mexico City, Mexico, Dec. 1 - March 27
• Trayectorias aleatorias, Ancienne école des veterinaries, Brussels, Belgium, cur. Hélène Bastenier, Oct. 10 - Nov. 7

2009
• Mexico: expected/unexpected, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Schiedam, Netherlands, Nov. 7 - Jan. 31 (Cat.)
• Topographic, La Maison, Église des Forges, Tarnos, France, cur. François Loustau, April 4 - 26

2008
• Pleinairism, i8 gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland, cur. Kitty Scott, Sept. 12 - Oct. 26

2007
• Global cities, Tate Modern, London, England, June 20 - Aug. 27

2006
• Ideal city-Invisible cities, Öffentlicher Raum in Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany, Sept. 9 - Oct. 29
• What makes you and I different, Tramway Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, Feb. 24 - March 26

2005
• Farsites / Sitios distantes, inSite 2005 San Diego Museum of Art, California, EUA, Centro Cultural Tijuana, Tijuana, Mexico , cur. Osvaldo Sanchez, Aug. 26 - Nov. 13 (Cat.)
• New Work/New acquisitions, MoMA, New York, USA, cur. Klaus Biesenbach, June 29 - Sept. 26

2004
• Sodio y asfalto. Arte británico contemporáneo en México, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, , Mexico City, Mexico, cur. Tobias Ostrander y Ann Gallagher, July 15 - Oct. 10 (Cat.)
• Made in Mexico, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA, cur. Gilbert Vicario, June 6 - Sept. 12 (Cat.)

2003
• Gestes, Printemps de Septembre, Festival de Imágenes Contemporáneas, Toulouse, France, cur. Marta Gilli and Fabienne Fuchéri, Sept. 26 - Oct. 19 (Cat.)
• Mexiko-Stadt: Eine Ausstellung über den Tauschwert von Körpern und Werten, Kunst-Werke Berlin, Berlin, Germany, cur. Klaus Biesenbach, Sept. 22 - Jan. 5

2002
• 20 million Mexicans can’t be wrong, South London Gallery, London, England, cur. Cuauhtémoc Medina, Sept. 18 - Nov. 17
• Mexico City: an exhibition about the exchange rates of bodies and values, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, USA, cur.Klaus Biesenbach, June 30 - Sept. 2 (Cat.)
• Here is there 2, Wiener Secession, Vienna, Austria, Feb. 14 - April 14 (Cat.)

2001
• Escultura mexicana (tercera parte). De la academia a la instalación. Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, Mexico

2000
• Photo América Latina, Museo de las Artes, Guadalajara, Mexico.

1999
• Cinco continentes y una ciudad, Museo de la Ciudad de México, Mexico City, Mexico

1998
• Chromaform, color in contemporary sculpture, University of Texas at San Antonio, USA (Cat.)
• 7 + 1 mujeres artistas, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico (Cat.)

1997
• Mexico now. Point of departure, The Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery, Columbus, Ohio, USA; El Arsenal de la Buntilla, SanJuan, Puerto Rico; The Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, USA; Woodstreet Gallery, Pittsburgh, USA; The Mexican Fine ArtsCenter Museum, Chicago, USA; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, USA; The Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, USA;The Mexican Cultural Institute, Washington, D.C., USA (Cat.)
• The conceptual trend: six artists from Mexico, El Museo del Barrio, New York, USA
• Life’s little necesities, The Second Biennale of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa (Cat.)

1995
• Par avion, LACE, Los Angeles, USA
• Pautas y tendencias paralelas de los 90’s, ACME Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

1994
• Las nuevas majas, Otis Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

1992
• Studio exhibition with Ethel Shipton, Plaza Santa Catarina, Mexico City, Mexico

1991
• Gallerie L’Escaut, Brussels, Belgium
• Marcas, Galería Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico

1990
• Salón de Los Aztecas, Mexico City, Mexico

1989
• A propósito (Homenaje a Joseph Beuys), Ex Convento del Desierto de los Leones, Mexico City, Mexico

Books and solo exhibition catalogues
• Various authors, Manual, MACBA Collection, Spain, 2021
• Barrios, José Luis, Greeley, Robin, Medina, Cuauhtémoc, Melanie Smith: Farce and Artifice, MUAC, Mexico, 2019.
• Barson, Tanya, Greeley Robin, Medina Cuauhtémoc, Smith, Melanie, Smith, Melanie Smith: Farsa y Artificio, MACBA, Spain, 2018.
• Greeley, Robin, Nuñez, Ana, Contreras, Jorge, Tlacochahuaya, EN DOS LUGARES AC, Mexico, 2016.
• Fordlandia, RM + Periferia Taller Gráfico, Mexico, 2014
• Melanie Smith, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, USA, 2014
• In Situ Melanie Smith, Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru, 2014
• Xilitla. Melanie Smith, RM+ El Mojado, Mexico, 2012
• Melanie Smith: Short Circuit, Snoeck, Germany, 2012
• Cuadrado Rojo, Imposible Rosa, Publisher Turner, INBA, Mexico, 2011
• Melanie Smith. Parres, A&R Press/Turner, Mexico, 2008
• Melanie Smith. Spiral City & Other Vicarious Pleasures, A&R Press/Turner, Mexico, 2006

Public Collections
• Santiago Alfonso, Orozco, Laura, Intermedio, ESPAC, Mexico City, Mexico, 2020
• Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, Irvine, CA, USA
• British Council, London, UK
• Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim, Braumadinho, Brazil
• Centro Cultural Muros, Cuernavaca, Mexico
• Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami, USA
• Colección Fundación ARCO, Madrid, Spain
• Colección Isabel y Agustín Coppel, Culiacan, Mexico
• La Colección Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico
• Daros Latinamerica Collection, Zurich, Switzerland
• The Diane & Bruce Halle Collection, Scottsdale, USA
• Essl Collection, Vienna, Austria
• EVN Collection, Maria Enzersdorf, Austria
• Fundación BBVA Bancomer, Tamaulipas, Mexico
• Fundación Televisa, Mexico City, Mexico
• Fundación Vergel, Mexico City, Mexico
• Grupo de los Dieciséis, Mexico City, Mexico
• Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain
• Jerry Speyer Collection, New York, USA
• Lucille & Ronald Neeley Foundation, San Diego, USA
• MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain
• Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, USA
• Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico
• Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Leon, Spain
• Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru
• Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico
• Museo de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo de Santander y Cantabria, Santander, Spain
• Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico
• Museo Universitario de Ciencias y Arte, Mexico City, Mexico
• Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico
• Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
• The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York, USA
• Tate Modern, London, UK
• Vergel Foundation, New York, USA
• Villa Merkel Städtische Galerie, Esslingen, Germany
• Zabludowicz Collection, London, England