The human scale and graphic silhouette imagery of David’s recent work create an immersive experience - one which the artist aims to be both seductive and unsettling. The ambiguous nature of time and lack of human presence suggest unresolved narratives. Plants, lamps, chairs, and other familiar objects of domestic interiors become leading characters, outlined and given prominence by blocks of solid colour and the skilful use of negative space.
These blocks provide a sense of depth and mark a shift from David’s previous work, which developed motifs within frieze-like compositions. As the artist states: ‘The scale of the paintings (at times over two metres in height) gives the works the presence of large screens or banners. The format and presentation of the works is an intentional reference to the expansive environments of Japanese screens and the delicacy of Chinese scroll paintings. It is significant for me that the paintings are produced on paper and using ink. The fragility and strength inherent in these materials allows for a nuanced balance between the provisional and the indelible.’
David Cyrus Smith studied at Wimbledon School of Art, Royal Academy Schools, and Royal College of Art, where in 2015 he was awarded an MPhil in Painting. He was the winner of The Valerie Beston Artists’ Trust Prize 2015, which included a solo exhibition at Marlborough Fine Art the same year, and was one of the Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2014 and in 2015. Other exhibitions include: Cosmic Morsel, F2 Galeria, Madrid (2016); Radical Me, Tannery Projects (2016); Tender Buttons, Hockney Gallery, RCA, London, (2014); Roma III, A.P.T Gallery, London (2012); Social Space, Fort Gallery, London (2011); Meet Me at The Cemetery Gates, The British School at Rome (2010).