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1013 O Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
By Appointment
202 588 8750
Founded in 1999 by directors Leigh Conner and Dr. Jamie Smith, CONNERSMITH specializes in Contemporary and Post-War Art. The Gallery is centrally located in the Logan Circle/Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC within blocks of the world’s largest museum, gallery and research complex, the Smithsonian Institution. 

Predicated upon discovery, curatorial vision, and art historical exhibition programming, CONNERSMITH's stability spans two decades.

The Gallery maintains long-term representation of internationally influential artists. Presenting works in diverse media, CONNERSMITH promotes art that contributes to important art-historical movements, with particular focuses on innovations in color-field abstraction, figural realism, and current discourses on race, gender and social justice.

The Gallery advances the careers of contemporary artists and extends the legacies of notable fine art estates. CONNERSMITH presents international art fair expositions as well as curated Gallery exhibitions with supplemental published materials.

CONNERSMITH supports the participation of Gallery artists in museum exhibitions, biennials and other international venues, including but not limited to: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Tate Britain, London; New Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York; Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres; Blaffer Art Museum, Houston; Mint Museum, Charlotte; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung City;  Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; American University Art Museum, Washington, DC; Wadsworth Museum of Art, Hartford; Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa; Passagen Linköpings Konsthall, Linköping; Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome, Italy; La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy.

Online Programming

Maria Friberg

Silent Revolution

CONNERSMITH is pleased to present “Silent Revolution”, an online exhibition of photographs by Maria Friberg. As visual artist, feminist, and environmental activist, Friberg has imbued her art with pioneering environmentalist subjects for two decades. In this selection of signature works the artist critiques power structures and industrial practices. With captivating imagery, she denounces the destruction of ancient ecosystems through widespread deforestation, the overconsumption of material goods, and inequities in modern society. Artist Q/A here:

Past Exhibitions

Sam Gilliam, Alma Thomas, Thomas Downing, Howard Mehring, Gene Davis, Hilda Shapiro Thorpe


October 11, 2023 - November 30, 2023
CONNERSMITH is pleased to announce REUNION, an exhibition of Washington Color paintings by Sam Gilliam, Alma Thomas, Howard Mehring, Thomas Downing, Gene Davis, and Hilda Shapiro Thorpe. Selected works, from the mid 1950s to the early 1970s, bespeak the creative dynamic that inspired this distinctly influential circle of American abstract painters.

Gualtiero Passani


September 13, 2023 - October 27, 2023
CONNERSMITH is pleased to present the first U.S. exhibition of works by the celebrated Tuscan painter Gualtiero Passani (1926-2019). As Passani launched his career in the 1940s, the young Italian Modernist emerged at a momentous time in European history amid the artistic inspirations of Surrealism, Cubism, Futurism, and German Expressionism. Pablo Picasso, Renato Birolli, Autoro Dazzi, Moses Levy, Ardengo Soffici, and Ottone Rosai were among his associates. By the 1950s, Passani had developed his own style, creating captivating dream-like images of figures and familiar objects in intimate scenarios composed of interlocking colors, shapes, and volumetric forms. Maximizing the capacity of color for emotional expression, he painted scenes from an imagined theater of life. One of Passani’s most distinctive qualities as an artist was the empathy he demonstrated toward his subjects, who were predominantly women. Many works exclusively portray female figures, whose sensual qualities the painter amplified with graceful contour lines. Some scenes include a male observer, invariably less prominent in stature than the high-heeled women commanding the situation. Thematically Passani was drawn to personalities functioning outside of mainstream society. He portrayed prostitutes, cross-dressers, alcoholics, circus performers, and curious onlookers in their orbit, with sensitivity, understanding, and touches of compassionate humor. Evoking the powerful humanity of his characters, Passani instilled them with a sense of freedom which is unique to themselves.

Howard Mehring


June 7, 2023 - August 4, 2023

John Stark

Feed Your Demons

March 15, 2023 - April 30, 2023

Erik Thor Sandberg

A Question of Balance

November 16, 2022 - December 31, 2022
CONNERSMITH is pleased to present A Question of Balance - an exhibition of new paintings by Erik Thor Sandberg. Distinguished by the artist’s unmistakable virtuosity, these captivating figural scenes are based on personal experiences of the covid lockdown and post-pandemic reopening. As Sandberg asserts, “These paintings are products of the times in which they were conceived. All my work has my identity, obviously, but this body of work is more directly autobiographical.”

Alma Thomas

SELECT| Alma Thomas: Macy's Parade

November 1, 2022 - November 30, 2022
CONNERSMITH is pleased to present a select view of Alma Thomas’s Macy’s Parade (1960). With vibrant imagery painted in glowing red, orange and yellow hues, Macy's Parade epitomizes Thomas’s calligraphic watercolor style of the early 1960s. This rare to market work possesses an impeccable provenance and holds a historically significant position within the artist’s oeuvre.

JJ McCracken

SELECT| JJ McCracken: Fruit for Geophages

October 19, 2022 - November 30, 2022
CONNERSMITH is pleased to present a select view of JJ McCracken’s latest sculpture series: Fruit for Geophages (Hunger). These unique wall-mounted steel panels feature ceramic forms of lush vegetables including peppers, squash, corn and potatoes. The artist describes this work as “a visual poem about need.”

Kenneth Victor Young


September 14, 2022 - October 19, 2022
Kenneth Victor Young (1933-2017) is renowned for experimenting with color, space and soft-edged organic forms in acrylics on unprimed canvas and on paper. Working in the orbit of the Washington Color School, Young developed a cosmic abstract style making formal innovations to express phenomena beyond the confines of matter and physical being. Today his legacy continues to expand boundaries for Black artists.

Jessica Maria Hopkins


September 14, 2022 - October 19, 2022
Jessica Maria Hopkins is figurative painter whose training at Howard University aligns her practice with the artistic traditions of Alma Thomas and the AfriCOBRA movement. In her latest body of work Hopkins accesses the emotional potential of color and deploys the symbolic value of decorative patterning as she explores social barriers arising from circumstances including gender and race.

Erik Thor Sandberg


July 6, 2022 - August 6, 2022
CONNERSMITH is pleased to present Interlude - a select view of new paintings by Erik Thor Sandberg. In these Surrealist narratives, responses to forces beyond our control unfold with a range of emotions involving annoyance, exhaustion, acceptance and satisfaction.

Sheldon Scott

Altar of Repose: I’m gonna lay down …

June 20, 2022 - August 6, 2022
CONNERSMITH is pleased to announce “Altar of Repose: I’m gonna lay down…” an exhibition of new multimedia works by Sheldon Scott. Scott creates representations of leisure by augmenting hammocks crafted in the tradition of his Gullah-Geechee lineage with meaning-laden materials. “Each hammock will be made black through the processes of tarring, painting, sequinning and charring, with some containing elements such as nails and glass throughout,” the artist elaborates. He asserts, “These adornments will speak to industries where extraordinary labor practices live undergirded by hyper-capitalism, made evident in fields once established as areas of leisure, such as sports, entertainment and the arts.” Scott thereby posits the agency of rest and relaxation as forces of resistance to the commodification of Black physical and intellectual labor. He draws inspiration from Martin Puryear’s, “Ladder for Booker T. Washington,” as well as the Biblical story of Jacob’s Ladder. Scott explains, “These sources reference the thought of a ‘leisurely stroll to heaven for Black folk.’ My new body of work aims to catalyze ideation on how Black people have or have not been able to participate in rest, and more pointedly, how Black labor has been exploited for the rest of other peoples.”

Howard Mehring

Howard Mehring: From the Gestural to the Sublime

April 1, 2022 - June 4, 2022
“[Mehring’s] sureness, from the beginning, is extraordinary. It rescues him from the Burkean ‘terror.’ His sublime is the calmest – the most beautiful of any American painter’s.” – Carter Radcliff (“Howard Mehring, Sachs Gallery, New York,” Art International, Vol. XIV, no. 10, Dec. 1970, p. 68.) This exhibition discloses the experimental and innovative forces that engendered Howard Mehring’s stylistic evolution during the critical period from 1956 to 1961. From the age of twenty-five in 1956 Mehring advanced, within five years, beyond the prevailing style of abstract expressionism into his own lyrical style. The artist’s agile progression culminated in the “allover” paintings, original works which are delicate, expansive, ineffable, in a word - sublime.