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John Arthur Smith: Recent Paintings and Drawings

Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm
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Admission free

JOHN ARTHUR SMITH: Recent Paintings and Drawings
Beldam Gallery - 26th February to 30th March 2007

Included in this exhibition are contrasting works which epitomise the intense range of John Arthur Smith's work: in both the life-size paintings of Three Sisters and the Guitar Player, John scrutinises his subject as intensely as he does through his pencil drawing of a very “still“ dried sunflower laid out on the table in front of him. The results confront the viewer powerfully, revealing ideas, passions and associations whilst consciously and intriguingly still concealing some of their secrets.

This exhibition also includes a number of other portraits (both heads and full length figures), groups of paintings of the sea, landscape and the familiar objects of still life. Each is painted with a particular mood and feeling for subject and place.

Brief Biography: The Accidental Polymath

John Arthur Smith trained at the Royal College of Art. He is also a sociologist, interested in sociological theory, philosophy, complexity theory and visual culture and has published in all these areas.
Dr. Smith has taught at Goldsmith's College, Lancaster University and Greenwich University.
He says that his art informs his writing and vice-versa. “I am an accidental, but not a reluctant polymath, “ he remarks.
“My interest in the discipline of figurative painting goes hand-in-hand with my research into the critical theory of art,“ he explains. “The paintings represent a rejection of many contemporary practices and the writing exposes the weakness of their underlying theoretical positions.“
“The supposed freedom of Brit Art is a bore. I was tired of conceptualism by the early seventies; for me Duchamp's century is over. I'd far sooner express my love for, and interest in the traditions of painting,“ he says. “ So many postmoderns see the discipline of painting as a limitation. I see it as a way of inaugurating and directing inquiry.“
Dr Smith, who lives in Kent, is a long-term co-author and collaborator with sociologist Professor Chris Jenks, the Vice Chancellor of Brunel University in West London, where the exhibition will be held.