Lionel Smit

01 Sep - 20 Sep 2017

Lionel Smit

Exhibition Dates

  • September01
  • Opening night
  • September20
  • Exhibition ends

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Lionel Smit

Lionel Smit was born in Pretoria, South Africa in 1982, he started developing and exhibiting straight after art school at Pro Arte Alphen Park. He now lives and works in Cape Town. He is best known for his contemporary portraiture executed through monumental canvasses and sculptures.

Smit exhibits locally in South Africa where he is considered one of the countries youngest investment artists. Over the past 10 years he has established a substantial international following with collectors ranging from the Standard Chartered Bank to Laurence Graff Art Collection at Graff Delaire wine state.  His works have been exhibited at art fairs in Amsterdam, Germany, India, Miami, Monaco, London and most recently at Art Central in Hong Kong.

Smit’s painting was exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery (London), where it received the Viewer’s Choice Award, as well as being selected as the ‘face’ of the BP Portrait Award 2013 for all campaigns. He was recently honoured with a Ministerial Award from the Department of Culture for Visual Art and a highlight of his career has been the publication of one of his paintings on the cover of Christie’s Auction Catalogue.

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Lionel Smit

Creating unordinary portraits of women, both representational and abstract, Lionel Smit sources his inspiration from the Cape Malay Community. Guided by influences of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Andy Warhol, he combines gestural brushstrokes, splattered and dripping paint, with patches of colour applied across the heads of his subjects. Smit’s sculptures invoke similar feelings to that of their two-dimensional counterparts, yet, a further addition of depth in its actuality, he imbues his pieces with less foreboding and melancholy. The opaque softness of the paintings is replaced with highly detailed hatching, clay protrusions, and grooved surfaces. The layers of intense colouring are reproduced as physically perceivable textures in this medium.

Lionel Smit

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