Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
Cauleen Smith (born Riverside, California, 1967) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Operating in multiple materials and arenas, Smith roots her work firmly within the discourse of mid-twentieth-century experimental film. Drawing from structuralism, third world cinema, and science fiction, she makes things that deploy the tactics of these disciplines while offering a phenomenological experience for spectators and participants.
Her films, objects, and installations have been featured in group exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial (2017), Prospect 4, New Orleans (2017), Studio Museum Harlem; the Contemporary Art Museum Houston; the New Museum, New York; and BALTIC Center for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK. She has had solo exhibitions at MASS MoCA; the Art Institute of Chicago; Institute for Contemporary Art Pennsylvania; the Museum of Contemporary, Chicago; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and a two person exhibition with Theaster Gates at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Smith is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the 2022 Heinz Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the 2020 Wein Artist Prize from the Studio Museum in Harlem, the inaugural Ellsworth Kelly Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Art in 2016, the 2016 Herb Alpert Award for Film/Video, Rockefeller Media Arts Award, Creative Capital Film /Video, Chicago 3Arts Grant, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Artadia, a Rauschenberg Residency in 2015 and recently in 2019, Smith was an artist in residence at Artpace. Smith was born in Riverside, California and grew up in Sacramento. Smith earned a B.A in Cinema from San Francisco State University in 1991 and an M.F.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1998. Smith studied with Trinh T. Minh Ha, Angela Davis, and Lynn Hershman-Leeson at San Francisco State University. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2007. Smith lives in Los Angeles and is a Professor at CalArts School of Art.