Michael Smith’s landscape paintings investigate the relationship between image and abstraction, as well as memory and performance. Smith believes that landscape painting is not a reflection of nature but rather a stage in which to enact the imagination. In this new suite of paintings, Smith’s imaginative stage becomes an immersive experience of ancient forest floors, private watering holes and reflective light. Painted from a low perspective, we are invited to walk into each painting and are allowed to get lost inside the lush forest landscape that Michael Smith has created.
Born in Derby, England in 1951, Michael Smith has lived in Montréal since 1978. He received a BFA at Falmouth College of Art in England and completed a MFA from Concordia University, Montréal in 1983. Since 1981 his paintings have been exhibited across Canada and internationally including the Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montréal, the Appleton Museum, Ocala, Florida, Galerie Damasquine, Brussels and The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan.
In January 2010 Smith exhibited a suite of powerful 6 ½ x 9 foot paintings in a solo show at the Art Gallery of Peel in Brampton, ON. “Wrestling Vision, Conjuring Place”, curated by James D. Campbell, represented Smith’s first major solo exhibition at an Ontario public gallery in over a decade. Reviews and essays of Smith’s work have appeared in ARTnews, MODERN PAINTERS, Canadian Art and Border Crossings Magazines.
His work was also featured in the Established Artists section of the Magenta Foundation’s 2008 book Carte Blanche v.2 Painting, a survey text on the current state of painting in Canada. The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Beaverbrook Art Gallery and Rideau Hall have Smith’s paintings in their permanent collections.