Josh Smith, the "What, me worry?" cavalier of painterly jazz, keeps 'em coming with well over a hundred fast, loose, hot-colored canvases—even Smith's blues smolder—and about a dozen gawky ceramic sculptures of traffic cones. “Emo Jungle,” Smith calls the show (at the Zwirner gallery, through June 15). A frieze of fifty-five pictures puts a vaguely heraldic turtle motif through changes of attack and pattern, from frenziedly visceral to near-doily-like precious. Elsewhere, devils cavort in red Hells, and Death, with his trusty scythe and empty mien, stands in tropical settings against enormous suns or moons. But don’t be scared, kids. The striations of the Reaper’s cloak are like riffs on Washington Color School stripes. These works are to seriously intended paintings as stuffed lions are to beasts of the Serengeti. All the better to take one home and imagine that it loves you.

The New Yorker, review by Peter Schjeldahl

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