The effusive gestures in the windswept landscape paintings of Michael Smith are imprinted like a frozen arctic sea – forever encapsulated on the canvas but elusive like the constant movement of particles of air, water and light that in reality are imperceptible to the eye. These paintings are capricious displays of all the possible manifestations and mutable qualities of sky, tree, wind, land and water. Balancing between representation and abstraction, Smith’s paintings embody the intersection of atmosphere, perception and memory.
“By rekindling sensations of light, distance and time my paintings further an investigation of the fugitive nature of memory and observation. I am influenced by the work of Whistler, Turner and Eugene Leroy. The landscape for me is always changing, forming and falling away in the light and limits of my understanding.”
Michael Smith was born in Derby, England in 1951 and moved to Montreal in 1978, where he currently lives. Since 1981 his work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally including the Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal, the Appleton Museum, Ocala, Florida, Galerie Damasquine, Brussels, Belgium and The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan. His held in the collections of the Musee d’art contemporain and the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Montreal, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Air Canada, Banque Nationale and Canadian Pacific, among others.