“I have often thought of landscape painting as a celebration of elemental forces.”
– Michael Smith
The painterly spaces created by Michael Smith are dynamic expressions of the vitality of nature. His work displays the virtues of sky and water and the pleasure of immersing ourselves in earthly presence. Further, the accumulation of energetic brushwork and colour provides a strong connection to the artist’s process. Smith employs the dramatic use of light found in Baroque paintings (as if night and day coexist) yet his images are composites of diverse sources: paintings by artists such as Corot, Poussin and Claude (artists who first raised the status of landscape painting); the atmospheric effects of Turner; historical film footage; and the Internet (contemporary images of landscape within the arena of war, conflict or disaster). The paintings have a metaphysical quality, exploring the ultimate nature of being and using light as a way of creating space.
Michael Smith was born in Derby, England in 1951 and moved to Montréal in 1978, where he currently lives. Since 1981 his work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally including the Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montréal, the Appleton Museum, Ocala, Florida, Galerie Damasquine, Brussels, Belgium and The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan. His held in the collections of the Musée d’art contemporain and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Air Canada, Banque Nationale and Canadian Pacific, among others.