Portrait of C.M.Composer, 1987
This display brings together four abstract portraits by the
distinguished British painter Jack Smith (1928-2011). Three
of these paintings were made in the 1980s: two representing the
composers Harrison Birtwistle and Colin Matthews, and the third the
choreographer Ashley Page. The fourth is a self-portrait dated
1997. Rather than representing the sitter's appearance, these works
use colour, line and abstract shape suggestively and symbolically.
These purely pictorial, dynamic elements were associated by Smith
with the composers' music and also the dancer's movements.
They convey a sense of identity without recourse to physical description.
Jack Smith - Abstract Portraits is the latest
display in the Balcony series of Interventions.
Started in 2006, this programme of special loan displays focuses on
unconventional approaches to portraiture by important,
internationally recognised artists in the twentieth century.
To date, the series has included Francis Bacon, Anthony Caro and
Andy Warhol, among others.
To coincide with the exhibition, Assistant Curator Lucy
Wood will reflect on the life and work of the painter in a special
lecture. Lucy will consider his exploration of portraiture using
purely abstract, non-descriptive elements. The talk will take place
on Thursday 26 March, 7pm and is free to attend.