What Kind Of Spirit Is This?

02 May - 01 June 2019

The inaugural show at the gallery, this exhibition casts a celebratory and inquisitive eye over painting today. Combining original work by eight artists concerned with employing paint to express their own particular narratives, this exhibition centers on the power of painting in the digitally connected 21st Century.

Curated by one of the artists on Smith’s roster, David Surman, the exhibition asks the question “Why paint? Who needs painting?” in a world that seems to have evolved so far beyond the medium in terms of artistic possibilities.

The exhibition features artworks from Matija Bobičić (b. 1987, Slovenia), Tim Garwood (b. 1984, UK), Kate Groobey (b. 1979, UK), Aly Helyer (b. 1965, UK), Doppel Kim (b. 1985, Korea), Sandra Lane (b. 1954, UK), Jonathan McCree (b. 1963, UK), Daisy Parris (b. 1993, UK), Maïa Régis (b.1995, France).

Featuring paintings and painted ceramics, the works pursue an array of ideas from the historical and architectural to human existence and identity. The challenges and interplays of paint are seen through visceral brushstrokes in a preoccupation with surface in some works and with subject in others. Some subjects are crudely drawn and almost childlike whilst others dissolve and disappear under layers of texture. Gestural figuration to total abstraction, the paint transforms, delights and teaches us about this new energy in a snapshot of the quality of the painting landscape today.

They Catch Feelings, I Catch Bodies

06 June - 06 July 2019

This group exhibition explores how artists depict the body and how it performs in an age where we not only want, but expect, intimacy and access on a daily basis. From daily rituals to sell out performances, this group show asks the question ‘how does art portray the body now?’.

An all female show, the exhibition features artworks by Jenna Gribbon (b. 1978, US), Aneta Kajzer (b. 1989, Germay), Kemi Onabule (b. 1995, UK) and Anne Ryan (b. 1964, Ireland).

Combining original paintings that uncover the body; it’s capabilities, it’s feelings and fancies, this exhibition considers where we draw the line between function and fiction.

The selection of paintings and sculpture pursue a comprehensive and complex portrayal of the body and performance. From the explicit to the self conscious, some bodies are brazen in their accuracy and others, reveal themselves more slowly through layers of apparent abstraction. Enduring dialogues abound; gestural negotiations, intricate details and intimate moments play out under the heavy observation of the artist or the voyeuristic gaze of the onlooker. Together, these artists open windows into new worlds whilst reflecting accurately on our own in an inquisitive yet knowing portrayal of the body and its performance.

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