Sutton Gallery is pleased to present If you’re into anything at all, you’ll always find your own morality play by Kate Smith. This series of new paintings showcases Smith’s considered yet unidealistic approach to art-making.
Smith’s paintings are sites of discovery, and although stylistically grounded in a historical context, her interpretation of Western art history is a personal one. Smith’s use of a vivid, unashamed palette and a myriad of familiar objects nod to her adolescence in rural NSW.
Smith has become known for her disregard for technical resources, opting for what is at hand; raw chunky objects or clippings from printed media and more pointedly her choice of small canvas boards in place of polished stretched linen canvases which frequently adorn the white walls of contemporary gallery spaces. “There is also a grain of resistance in the materiality of Smith’s work, an echo of the 1960s revolutionary established codes; she speaks of coming at things from the wrong point of view.”1
Many of Smith’s previous paintings have slowly evolved, layered with thick paint, collaged clippings or coils of rope; they have been tinkered away at in her studio until the accomplished painting has emerged. Her new works, spurred by the heavy weight of our current political climate, and the incessant banter that results, mark a desire to react and move on. These are sparse canvases with a fresh immediacy – an emotion or instance has been captured, sometimes with brutal honesty and other times with a warm sincerity.
Kate Smith has exhibited with Sutton Gallery since 2011. Recent solo exhibitions include: A Country Practice, Monash University Museum of Art, Switchback Gallery, curated by Francis Parker, 2013; Deep Privacy/Convex, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; Teenage Boi Boi Sounds, Sutton Gallery, 2011; Dumb Sampler, Studio 12, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, 2011; Gesturing to the Chilli, db, Sydney, 2011. Recent group exhibitions include: Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; Collage: The Heide Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2013; Third/Fourth: Melbourne artist facilitated Biennial, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, The University of Melbourne, 2013; Like Mike, Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts, St Kilda, 2013; Regimes of Value, Margaret Lawrence Gallery and The Substation, Melbourne, 2013; Cross Colouring, Gambia Castle, Auckland, 2009; and A Time Like This, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, 2008. She has held studio residencies at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, and Artspace, Sydney.
1 Francis Parker, Kate Smith: A Country Practice exhibition catalogue, 2013Artist’s profile