Red and Black with Blue and Yellow

18 November to 19 December 2015


In this latest remarkable series Martin Smith creates three interrelated groups of work that seek to mathematically deconstruct the familiar ceramic archetypes of the bowl, the vase and the plate.

With reference to the ceramics of Ancient Greece, Smith primarily uses the colour black on his vases and bowls. This is then removed in key areas to reveal the red of the terracotta from which they are made.

Vases are assembled as triptych groups on shelves, the spaces between as significant as the forms themselves. Multi-plate wall installations explore not only the moiré effects of linear interference, but also the optical interference of colour when two or more colour systems interact.

The visual juxtaposition of Smith’s pared-down sculptural vases and bowls with the complex graphic prints of his wall-based plate pieces sees the artist create an environment within which the viewer can experience sensations of perception and space.

Image: works in progress in the artist's studio (2015)

A key figure in British ceramics, MARTIN SMITH trained at Bristol Polytechnic Faculty of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art. Smith sees himself as an artist, designing his work with the mindset of an architect and meticulously planning each piece.

Since the start of his career in the late 1970s, Smith has exhibited internationally and examples of his work can be found in many public collections worldwide. A major retrospective was held at the Museum Bojimans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, in 1996 and in 2001 he made Wavelength, a site-specific work for Tate St. Ives. He is also known for his multi-disciplinary approach to design and site-specific furniture.

Previously Professor of Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, a position he held for 16 years, Smith has recently taken on a new role as Senior Research Fellow at the RCA, where he is researching the ‘Potential of the Digitally Printed Ceramic Surface'. He has recently designed the domestic-style gallery space for the Anthony Shaw Collection in York Art Gallery as well as continuing to explore his work in the field of ceramics.

For more information, images, or to arrange an interview with the artist please contact Siobhan Feeney or Tatjana Marsden
tel: +44(0)20 7336 6396

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