Mon. May 20th, 2019

Everard Read London presents SA artist, Lionel Smit

This opens tomorrow.

everard read london presents sa artist lionel smit 1024x756 - Everard Read London presents SA artist, Lionel Smit

f5266d1a aligned 2 2019 oil on linen 170x230cm 1200x886 - Everard Read London presents SA artist, Lionel Smit

Everard Read London presents Destructure, a solo exhibition of sculpture and paintings by celebrated South African artist, Lionel Smit.

Smit’s work

In this new body of work, Smit continues to explore themes of identity through portraiture on canvas and bronze sculptures. For the artist, the human face offers an endless source of study and his work accentuates facial characteristics through bold swathes of colour and brush techniques, highly-textured bronzes and vivid patinas.

dff01fc3 destructure 2019 oil silkscreen on linen 170x140cm hr - Everard Read London presents SA artist, Lionel Smit
Destructure, 2019, Oil & Silkscreen on Linen, 170x140cm

Smit’s portraits reflect the mixed heritage of the Western Cape communities in which he lives and works, and which have become central to his exploration of identity.

The subjects in his portraits exude strength and dignity; some have a meditative quality while others evoke a sense of vulnerability conveyed by the sitter’s averted gaze or melancholy expression.

Painting and sculpture

Smit’s work is defined by a profound and ongoing dialogue between painting and sculpture. He grew up in a world of sculpture and his father’s sculpture studio played a central role in his childhood.

Smit explains further, “I started off with clay – so that’s my reference point… And that’s the way I approach painting. I approach it like sculpture, adding pieces until the image emerges.”

Smit began working in clay from a young age but later shifted his focus to painting, perhaps to claim his own artistic identity, separate from his father’s.

00e4c09a pulse 2019120x120cm oil on linen hr - Everard Read London presents SA artist, Lionel Smit
Pulse, Oil on Linen, 120x120cm

When he returned to making sculpture several years ago, it was his painting that deeply informed his sculptural works.

“I want the sculptures to mimic the paintings, I almost try to merge them in approach, to translate paintings in a three-dimensional form. In my head, I see the pieces of clay as brush strokes. At one stage while working on a sculpture I found myself building the plaster of Paris with a brush because I liked to see the brush strokes and the drips.”

This is Smit’s second solo exhibition with Everard Read London.

Details:

The show is on from 10 May – 8 June 2019.

For more information, please contact: info@everardlondon.com , +44 (0)207 590 9991

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