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Portrait of a Seated Lady Original Pop Art Oil Painting on Canvas.

Richard Smith (1931...)


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A superb original pop art oil painting depicting a seated lady that is signed R. Smith,  a key figure in the second wave of the English pop art movement in the late 1950's. The painting is an accomplished and attractive example of paintings from the pop art genre. The painting is in very fine, original condition. 
The painting is presented in it's original ebonised wooden frame with minor imperfections. 
The painting is signed lower left.There is a large number of references to Richard Smith on the web.

Certificate of Authenticity.

Painting with Frame:
51cm (20") x 61cm (24").
61cm (24") x 71cm (28"). 



  Pop Art
"The term first appeared in Britain during the 1950s and referred to the interest of a number of artists in the images of mass media, advertising, comics and consumer products. The 1950s were a period of optimism in Britain following the end of war-time rationing, and a consumer boom took place. Influenced by the art seen in Eduardo Paolozzi's 1953 exhibition Parallel between Art and Life at the Institute for Contemporary Arts, and by American artists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, British artists such as Richard Hamilton and the Independent Group aimed at broadening taste into more popular, less academic art. Hamilton helped organize the 'Man, Machine, and Motion' exhibition in 1955, and 'This is Tomorrow' with its landmark image Just What is it that makes today's home so different, so appealing? (1956). Pop Art therefore coincided with the youth and pop music phenomenon of the 1950s and '60s, and became very much a part of the image of fashionable, 'swinging' London. Peter Blake, for example, designed album covers for Elvis Presley and the Beatles and placed film stars such as Brigitte Bardot in his pictures in the same way that Warhol was immortalizing Marilyn Monroe in the USA. Pop art came in a number of waves, but all its adherents - Joe Trilson, Richard Smith, Peter Phillips, David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj - shared some interest in the urban, consumer, modern experience."

  Richard Smith (1931.... )
Richard Smith was born in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. He studied at the Luton School of Art (1948-50), St. Alban's School of Art (1952-54) and the Royal College of Art (1954-57). In 1954, he presented work in the “Six Young Contemporaries” exhibition at the Gimpel Fils Gallery, London. Receiving a Harkness scholarship, he lived in New York from 1959 to 61 (and later from 1963 to 65), where he held his first one-man show in 1961, at the Green Gallery. In 1962, he held his first London one-man shows in his studio in Bath Street and at the ICA. He also took part in the “Situation” exhibitions in 1960 and 61 and in 1966, the Whitechapel Art Gallery held an important exhibition of his work from 1958 to 66. In 1976, Smith returned to settle in New York.
At the beginning of the sixties he produced exuberant work, Pop abstraction themes owing a great deal to the imagery and the ideas transmitted by North American advertising. In New York, Smith presented large canvases, that referred directly to commercial products, such as cigarette packet shapes and titles that incorporated words like 'shampoo'. Nevertheless, this enthusiasm for Pop Art never affected his deeper concerns, particularly the formal aspects of painting (colour, structure and form), quickly abandoning the world of everyday images to produce canvases of minimal aspect, where the influence could be felt of post-war American painters on the artist. According to Richard Smith, his painting in the sixties was a kind of archeology of the moment, in which he sought, owing to the saturation of Pop Art imagery, to bring a renovated sensibility to painting and the way canvases were looked at: "We are all archeologists, though for the most part we are digging up things we ourselves buried or are only dusty."
Package (1962) and The Lonely Surfer (1963) are significantly different, revealing the path followed by Smith. Package is above all visual with a more painterly style, close to the colour fields of, for example, Gillian Ayres (with a luminosity in the clearer tones characteristic of watercolour and in clear contrast to the darker tones). In The Lonely Surfer, Smith's work assumes a ludic character, as if the canvas was being expanded, in search of three-dimensionality, and set afloat in ingenuous blue waves.

Ana Vasconcelos e Melo
In A Ilha do Tesouro/Treasure Island, Lisboa, CAMJAP/FCG, 1997, p. 148. (Catalogue)



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