Matthew David-Smith


Smith’s most recent body of work has made a definitive leap, becoming more pared back and considered as he responds to his former work and utters previous motifs.

His work has taken a step closer towards dealing with the artwork as an object and surface. Although the imagery of his work has simplified, this has allowed the surface to grow and become more complex. Notions of the man-made still remain but with more of a direct focus on design and the decorative.

The decorative raises questions of aesthetic quality and removes social barriers. It is liberated from definition, from the mass-produced to opulent rarity, it is for the people and shapes the world we live in. This freedom can be seen in this exhibition.

Smith’s visually active works are not necessarily there to be understood, they are to be experienced. The forms come from abstracted everyday iconography but also self-reference through reinvestigating previously used forms. Functioning as a visual scaffold, the forms support each other across the picture to balance and hold the composition.

This series has pushed Smith’s own visual language to something more direct and resolved. Hinting at past movements such as the Constructivists he is theoretically grounded in history yet manages to maintain contemporary strength and relevance that holds its own.”