Marc Straus

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April 12, 2017 Back To News

Clive Smith Joins Marc Straus


NEW YORK – MARC STRAUS is proud to announce that Clive Smith has joined the gallery. Smith will have his inaugural exhibition in early 2018.

Clive Smith is a highly trained British painter who for twenty years has been interested in how contemporary painting can speak to modern societal issues. Shifting from his veritable portraits, his recent paintings feature intricately rendered bird’s nests that gracefully rest on exquisite antique ceramic plates, similar to those one might see displayed behind glass at the Metropolitan Museum of New York.

The juxtaposition, at first unlikely; the craft of the highly valued antique plate and the bird-made crafted nest. Smith chose them not so much for reality as for the poignant conversations they evoke. Painting with reverence and virtuosity, one can feel the roughness of each twig or the delicate glaze of fine China.

In other recent works Smith paints tondos of broken plates. Smith was inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where breakage and repair becomes part of the object’s history and dignity, and is viewed as beautiful. By breaking a plate and gluing it back together, Smith found accidental “ready made” broken lines to work around and within.

Marc Straus, founder of the Lower East Side gallery adds, “From the beginning, I was drawn to his earlier work of serial self-portraits. Like Rembrandt’s late self-portraits Smith presents an unvarnished, unapologetic, and authentic presence with exquisite mastery. In the end these new paintings are portraits at their best. Perhaps they would have us think about how we value the handmade, what is art, what is beautiful, what is enduring and what is transient.”

In addition to the show, MARC STRAUS will also present Smith’s work at Art Brussels, April 2017, and Expo Chicago 2017, the fifth year at the fair for the gallery.

Smith (b. 1967, England) lives and works in New York. In 1999 he won First Prize, BP Portrait Award, at London’s National Portrait Gallery. He has had numerous museum exhibitions that include the National Portrait Gallery, London, UK. His work is in many public collections such as in the Cleveland Museum of Art, US; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, KC, US; and the National Portrait Gallery, London, UK.

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