Allison Smith has exhibited her work since 1995 throughout the United States and in England, France, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, and South Korea. She has produced over twenty-five solo exhibitions, installations, performances, and artist-led participatory projects for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Public Art Fund, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Berkeley Art Museum, The Arts Club of Chicago, and Indianapolis Museum of Art, among others. She has exhibited her work in group exhibitions at galleries and museums including P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center/ Museum of Modern Art New York, Palais de Tokyo, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Andy Warhol Museum, The Mattress Factory, and The Tang Museum. Smith has lectured on her work extensively at art schools and research universities in the United States and abroad, as well as at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, SculptureCenter and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. Her work has been featured and reviewed in The New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Sculpture, on NPR, KQED, Art:21, and in many other media and scholarly publications. Smith has received generous support from United States Artists, Arts Council England, FOR-SITE Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Artadia, the National Endowment for the Arts, and New York Foundation for the Arts. Notable residencies include IASPIS (Stockholm, Sweden), The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts), the Museum of Modern Art Artists Experiment initiative (New York, New York), the International Studio and Curatorial Program (Brooklyn, New York), Artpace San Antonio (Texas), and Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito, California). Her work is held in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Saatchi Gallery London, Linda Pace Foundation, and other public and private collections worldwide. Smith is represented by Haines Gallery in San Francisco.
Smith was born in Manassas, Virginia in 1972. She received a BA in psychology from The New School for Social Research, a BFA in fine arts from Parsons School of Design, and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale University School of Art. She also participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. She lived in New York City from 1990 until 2008 when she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area to join the faculty of California College of the Arts, where she is a tenured professor and Chair of the Sculpture Program. She is currently working on a solo exhibition for S!GNAL Center for Contemporary Art in MalmÖ Sweden.