Marc Straus

Gallery

Clive Smith

January 7 - February 9, 2018

Opening Reception
Sun January 7 2018, 5pm - 7pm

MARC STRAUS is pleased to present the gallery’s inaugural solo exhibition by British artist Clive Smith. The opening reception will be on Sunday, January 7 from 5 – 7pm, and the exhibition will remain on view through February 9, 2018.

In a series of new paintings, Clive Smith, a celebrated conceptual portraitist, eschews the human figure and yet captures the intensity seen in the best of portraits. Here Smith places an intricate bird-nest on an exquisite ceramic plate. In this incongruous juxtaposition, Smith tacitly comments on an inconvenient issue: species extinction by unintentional human consumption of the natural world. “Beak, Claw, Hand, Brush (1.9.1914)” refers to the demise of the Passenger Pigeon, once the most numerous of birds in North America. At 1pm on 1st September 1914, the last of the species, named Martha, died in the Cincinnati zoo; the first time the exact moment a species disappearing was recorded. Man exhausts the planet; a very topical concern. Smith is not accusatory, nor does he lobby for a solution, rather he raises necessary questions.

In a series of “broken plate” paintings, Smith continues his ruminations on the insatiable demand of mass consumerism and its effects on the environment. Realistically painted cracked plates on round or irregular shaped canvases are inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi where repair aggrandizes a broken pottery’s beauty and dignity. The scars, mishaps, and accidents of life leading to the present moment are celebrated. By assembling fragments of different broken plates, Smith discovers accidental “readymade” compositions to work within; the geometric patterns on the plates also function as vehicles for him to explore formal compositional ideas more regularly discussed in purely abstract works.

In ‘Party On’ the artist’s grand vision of today’s disconnected world of multifarious phenomena is realized by a bright ‘plein-air’ tondo landscape painted as a reflection in a disco ball ¬— a bucolic world fragmented into a disarray of time and space. Each small mirrored panel, sometimes chipped or uneven, contains parts of clouds, bark, leaves, river and rocks, dislocated from their overall form. The effect energizes the idyllic scenery, rendering it more dynamic yet at the same time more difficult to take in as a whole. Smith tips his hand as a consummate portrait painter. It is his painterliness and mastery of finding tension with each layered stroke that imbues the work with sincerity.

In the end, these paintings urge us to think about what is art, what is beautiful, what is enduring and what is transient.

Smith (b. 1967, St. Albans, 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. Smith is represented by MARC STRAUS in New York.

Photography by Ken Tan.

 Download in PDF

Read More
Installation View
Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Smith-Clive-Jan-2018-Marc-Straus-Installation-01
Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Smith-Clive-Jan-2018-Marc-Straus-Installation-02
Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Smith-Clive-Jan-2018-Marc-Straus-Installation-03
Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Smith-Clive-Jan-2018-Marc-Straus-Installation-04
Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Smith-Clive-Jan-2018-Marc-Straus-Installation-05a
Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Smith-Clive-Jan-2018-Marc-Straus-Installation-06a
Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Smith-Clive-Jan-2018-Marc-Straus-Installation-07
Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Smith-Clive-Jan-2018-Marc-Straus-Installation-08a
Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Smith-Clive-Jan-2018-Marc-Straus-Installation-09
Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Smith-Clive-Jan-2018-Marc-Straus-Installation-10
Works In Exhibition
Clive Smith 2017
Oil on Canvas
65 inches diameter (165cm) 2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Party On

2017
Oil on Canvas
65 inches diameter (165cm)

Clive Smith 2018
Oil on Wood Panel
28 inches (71 cm tondo) 2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Last Dance

2018
Oil on Wood Panel
28 inches (71 cm tondo)

Clive Smith 2017
Oil on Wood Panel
22 x 29 inches (59 x 73.6cm) 2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Beak, claw, Hand, Brush (You should know me better than that)

2017
Oil on Wood Panel
22 x 29 inches (59 x 73.6cm)

Clive Smith 2017
Oil on Linen
54 x 71 inches / 137 x 180 cm 2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Beak, Claw, Hand, Brush (1.9.1914)

2017
Oil on Linen
54 x 71 inches / 137 x 180 cm

Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Beak, Claw, Hand, Brush (1.9.1914) (Detail)
Clive Smith 2016
Oil on Linen
24 x 24 inches / 61 x 61 cm 2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Beak, Claw, Hand, Brush (At One Time They Lived Together)

2016
Oil on Linen
24 x 24 inches / 61 x 61 cm

Clive Smith 2017
Oil on Canvas
45 inches / 114 cm diameter 2018 Marc Straus Gallery
A Little Life

2017
Oil on Canvas
45 inches / 114 cm diameter

Clive Smith  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
A Little Life, 2017 (Detail)
Clive Smith 2017
Oil on Canvas
36 inches / 91.4 cm diameter 2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Temperamental

2017
Oil on Canvas
36 inches / 91.4 cm diameter

Clive Smith 2017
Oil on Canvas
34 inches / 86 cm diameter 2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Before Today

2017
Oil on Canvas
34 inches / 86 cm diameter

Clive Smith 2017
Oil on Wood Panel
10 inches diameter (25.4cm) 2018 Marc Straus Gallery
If You See Me

2017
Oil on Wood Panel
10 inches diameter (25.4cm)

Clive Smith 2017
Oil on wood panel
6 inches tondo,  2018 Marc Straus Gallery
Hurt So Good

2017
Oil on wood panel
6 inches tondo,

Click image to zoom