John Smyth

"I am a painter working mainly in oils. The main subject of my work is the human form and my approach to this is naturalistic or realistic. To complement the figures I use Abstract elements varying from simple sheets of colour to textured impasto and decorative pattern. These abstract elements may work simply as a background or may encrouch over the figure creating a more dynamic interplay between the abstract and the real. I feel that the contrast between the highly disciplined pursuit of naturalistic figurative painting and the freedom of working with abstraction provides balance in my work on both a visual and conceptual level." John Smyth

"John Smyth paints nudes and semi-nudes, both female and male, and he does it to a photographic standard. Sometimes he brings flat shapes or pattern into his pictures and allows them to disturb or enhance his startlingly realistic subjects.

In his first show at the rendezvous Gallery in Aberdeen, Smyth - a graduate of Gray's - demonstrates how the human body can be used as a decorative object. His sublime figures have no faces and no personality or character beyond their role as life models, so we learn nothing about them.

The figures appear as untroubled as classical gods and nymphs. Yet they have a strong presence and an atmosphere that is at times vaguely erotic in a very Victorian sort of way. Essentially Smyth seems to be working in this 19th century tradition. However, the artist has stripped away the pastoral or boudoir settings to update his nudes." Press and Journal, Saturday July 1 2006

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John Smyth Curriculum Vitae

Reviews and Articles

John Smyth Image Gallery - Available Works

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    New Light
  • TierceTierce
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    New Light II

Curriculum Vitae


1996-2000 Grays School of Art, Aberdeen,
BA Hons Fine Art, Painting.


2000, David Gordon Memorial trust award

Selected Exhibitions

2000  Bridge View Gallery, Aberdeen
          Graduate Exhibition, Strathearn Gallery, Crieff
          Young Scottish Painters, Phillips Auctioneers, Edinburgh
          New Faces, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh   
2001  Neaps Annual Exhibition, Bridge View Gallery, Aberdeen
2002  Grays Former Student Biennial Exhibition, Aberdeen Art Gallery
2003  Neaps Annual Exhibition, Woodend Art Centre, Aberdeen
          Three Scotsmen, The Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen
          Summer Exhibition, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh
          Affordable Art Fair, London
          Christmas Exhibition, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh
2004  The Affordable Art Fair, Spring, London
          Figures of Eight, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh
          Festival Show, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh
          Christmas Exhibition, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh       
2005  The Affordable Art Fair, Spring, London
          10th Anniversary Exhibition, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh
          Beneath The Surface, Curated by Headquarter Contemporary Art, in association with The Albemarle Gallery, At Holman Fenwick & Willan, Marlow House, Lloyd’s Avenue, London                                      
           Winter Salon at The Albemarle gallery, London W1.
2006   Recent works, Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen
           Mixed exhibition, Oisin Gallery, Dublin
           The Affordable Art Fair, London
           Christmas exhibition, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh
2007   Shades of Gray, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh
           Cambridge art fair

With our contemporary art gallery in Glasgow City Centre, we at Tracey McNee Fine Art aim to supply quality mid-career artists' works to the discerning collector. The gallery exhibits varied works with an emphasis on high quality figurative oil paintings from Scottish artists.

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