Mary T. Smith

(1904-1995) Hazlehurst, MS

Around 1975 Mary Tillman Smith began cutting up and painting on sheets of roofing tin which her son had intended to use for a shed. Portraits of neighbors, Jesus, assorted animals and plant forms appear in her work, sometimes accompanied by text. Paintings and assemblages formed a large outdoor environment on her property, located on busy Hwy. 51 on the south end of Hazlehurst. But it is incorrect to assume that all of the early work was done on metal; many early works were executed on found wood. She began using plywood panels (often new pre-cut pieces that collectors would bring her) more often as demand for her work increased; at the same time, age-related health issues made working with metal more difficult. She stopped painting around 1991.

 

untitled(THREE BUSTS)

ca. 1984

13.5" x 18.5"

enamel and whitewash on found steel panel

 

untitled(Self-portrait w/christ)

ca. 1984

16" x 24"

enamel on masonite

 

untitled(christ figure)

ca. 1985

47" x 26.5"

enamel on corrugated steel

 
 

untitled

ca. 1987

22" x 26.5"

enamel on steel panel

 
 

Summertime: Hot When IT's Hot Like This

ca. 1985

17" x 24"

enamel and whitewash on tin

 

Untitled (8 Figures)

ca. 1989

36" x 48"

enamel on plywood