Many of Smith’s recent landscape paintings invent a sense of place through the layering of several sites. Each painting evolves as a distinct ‘temperament of seeing’ depending on referential ‘touchstones’. The specificity of place is therefore never fully defined and nature is left in a constant state of flux.
Smith’s process is physical – layering the paint in often thick and energetic mark making. Brushstrokes act as travel gestures expressing a signature of arrival and departure within the complex moiré of working and re-working. Throughout these surfaces he engages with both figural and abstracted equivalences of space.
Smith sees landscape, in part, as a hybrid of the different locations and sites of his experience. Living for a number of years in different landscapes also diffuses Smith’s sense of belonging. It is this landscape of ‘no-belonging’ that he explores by further adding to the layered visual strata of each work. Artists of the past and present continually spur and critically adjust his understanding of how the landscape is ‘seen’. However, primarily, Smith’s work evolves out of a studio practice where one body of work folds into and out of another.
Born in the UK, Michael Smith has lived in Québec since 1978. He completed a Master of Fine Arts degree at Concordia University in 1983, remaining to teach part time until 1989. He became full-time instructor in fine arts at Dawson College in 1990 and has been a teacher/advisor for the Graduate Program at Vermont College, USA. His work has been exhibited in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Brussels and Ocala, Florida.
Recent exhibitions in the public arena include group exhibitions in Kaohsiung (Taiwan), the Appleton Museum, Florida, and the Art Gallery of Nova a Scotia and a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Peel, Ontario.
Smith’s works are to be found in a many important public collections, including those of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musee d’art Contemporain de Montreal, the Musée du Québec, the Musée d’art de Joliette, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Concordia University, the University of Lethbridge, Rideau Hall, 24 Sussex Drive and Stornoway.
In the last several years, Michael Smith has received awards from both the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec and the Canada Council.
One of the great pleasures of running an art gallery is the opportunity to visit artists in their studios. This can include looking at older inventory, fresh work or work in progress. It’s where we get to have conversations about where ideas are coming from and how they are being realized. It’s how we can…Read More