The inaugural show at the gallery, this exhibition casts a celebratory and inquisitive eye over painting today. Combining original work by eight artists concerned with employing paint to express their own particular narratives, this exhibition centers on the power of painting in the digitally connected 21st century.
Curated by one of the artists on Smith’s roster, David Surman, the exhibition asks the question “Why paint? Who needs painting?” in a world that seems to have evolved so far beyond the medium in terms of artistic possibilities.
The exhibition features artworks from Matija Bobičić (b. 1987, Slovenia), Tim Garwood (b. 1984, UK), Kate Groobey (b. 1979, UK), Aly Helyer (b. 1965, UK), Doppel Kim (b. 1985, Korea), Sandra Lane (b. 1954, UK), Jonathan McCree (b. 1963, UK), Daisy Parris (b. 1993, UK), Maïa Régis (b.1995, France).
Featuring paintings and painted ceramics, the works pursue an array of ideas from the historical and architectural to human existence and identity. The challenges and interplays of paint are seen through visceral brushstrokes in a preoccupation with surface in some works and with subject in others. Some subjects are crudely drawn and almost childlike whilst others dissolve and disappear under layers of texture. Gestural figuration to total abstraction, the paint transforms, delights and teaches us about this new energy in a snapshot of the quality of the painting landscape today.