6 - 8pm, Wednesday 25th Jan
Richard Smith (1931-2016) - Shaped Canvases 1966-1972
Mon-Fri: 10-6pm; Selected Saturdays 11:00 - 17:00 (from 25 February - 25 March 2023)
An exhibition of shaped canavses made by the British artist Richard Smith (1931-2016), an artist who defies easy categorisation. Known as one of the fathers of Pop art, in his Tate retrospective in 1975 he was described by critic Barbara Rose as ‘at once in and out of touch with the currents of the mainstream’.
‘The making of paintings has always been a subject in my work and with the shaping of the canvas this subject became more obvious and in some ways primary… The shape is an aspect of colour, the distortion of the canvas membrane alters the way the colour can be seen – also, the contour makes a varied absorbency, and therefore the canvas holds the colour in a specific way…’
Richard Smith 1968
The show also marks the launch of the new monograph Richard Smith: Artworks 1954-2013 (published by The Francis Bacon Estate) which will be available to purchase from the gallery.
The pioneering film Who Is Richard Smith? - a prototype for early artist-produced biographical films - is also on view in the gallery throughout the show. Made in 1968, the film relates to a slightly earlier film entitled Trailer which Smith made in collaboration with the photographer Robert Freeman. This is the first time that Who Is Richard Smith? has been screened in London and offers real insight into the influences at play in his work during this key period.
The exhibition is organised in conjunction with the launch of the new monograph, Richard Smith: Artworks 1954-2013 produced by The Estate of Francis Bacon and Thames & Hudson Publishing.
With essays from David Alan Mellor, Chris Stephens and Alex Massouras, this new study is intended to reignite discourse around this diverse artist, whose impressive oeuvre is fertile territory for a new reassessment.
St James's 38 Bury St, SW1Y 6BB