Thursday, 21 April 2016

Richard Smith, 1931 - 2016

Richard Smith, Panatella, 1961
Richard Smith died 16 April 2016.
British Pop and abstract painter Richard Smith enjoyed early success and celebrity but, latterly, was less well known than he deserved to be. Smith graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1957 and had a one-man show in New York in 1961. In 1970 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale and had a retrospective at the Tate in 1975. As the late Gordon Burn put it in an article for the Guardian in 2000:  In the 50s he helped invent pop art. In the 60s his huge, advert-inspired canvases were the talk of the London art scene. In the 70s oil millionaires were queuing up to buy them. Then, in the 80s, he vanished. What happened to Richard Smith?
The Tate’s online biography simply stops at 1976.
Smith moved to America in 1978 – it seems that for a while he ‘lost focus’, but in due course and through subsequent decades continued to make his bold and distinctive abstractions.
Read The Invisible Man by Gordon Burn.
Read obituaries in the Guardian (by Chris Stephens), Artforum (by Barbara Rose) and The Telegraph
Richard Smith, MM, 1959
Richard Smith, Piano, 1963
Richard Smith, Untitled, 1971-2
Richard Smith, Early Reply, 1972
Richard Smith, Untitled (Yellow), 1996
Richard Smith, Untitled, 2002
Richard Smith, Avedisiane, nd

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