|Blaise Smith ARHA|
Red swing door ~ oil on gesso panel ~ 30 x 48 inches
Blaise Smith ~ The Join ~ oil on gesso panel ~ 30 x 48 inches
Blaise Smith ~ The Opening ~ oil on gesso panel ~ 30 x 48 inches
Pre-fab ~ oil on gesso panel ~ 37 x 60 inches
Sheds with red roller-door ~ oil on gesso panel ~ 30 x 48 inches
Two tyres ~ oil on gesso panel ~ 30 x 48 inches
June 5th - July 3rd, 2014
000Blaise Smith's new paintings at The Molesworth Gallery are of building elevations but there is little room for sentiment in the work, just the brutal functionality of concrete and corrugated iron doors. Avoiding the pretty and the obvious, he instead explores his fascination for ducting and drain pipes, for the arbitrary window and the shabby rear-views of buildings.
000However unloved, these overlooked perspectives have pictorial qualities that attract the artist. He has coined the term "real abstraction” to define the work, where the subject is organised in an abstract way but resolves at the same time into a realistic figurative image. Reacting to the argument that photography has made representational painting redundant, Smith embraces subjects 'that would make boring photographs'. By investing so much time and skill into painting something so pedestrian, so unobserved, Smith aims to force you to look again by saying in paint "see here, pay as much attention to this as I did” and in doing so elevates the subject into something worthy of consideration.
000Born in 1967, Blaise Smith studied visual art NCAD. He has had numerous solo exhibitions at The Molesworth Gallery, as well at The Hunt Museum in Limerick and Visual in Carlow. He has been selected three times for BP Portrait Exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery in London and in 2014 was included in a major retrospective publication on the leading exhibitors there over the past ten years. In the autumn of 2014, he will take part in a three-person show at The J Cacciola Gallery in New York, along with Mick O’Dea and Aideen Barry. He has completed several major public commissions, among them "Roadworks", a set of twenty four paintings depicting men and machines of Cork County Council for its centenary. He has won many awards and was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2012.
000My father was an architect and some of my earliest memories of drawing were on the left over plans and blueprints that he brought home from the office. I remember being intrigued by some elevation drawings of the docks in Dublin, with the boats sitting on the waterline. In particular, I liked the way all the doors and windows had been carefully detailed in the buildings. I cheerfully filled them in with soldiers engaged in extended gun battles providing the sound effects as I went along.
The Dictionary of Living Irish Artists, Robert O'Byrne, 2010
the molesworth gallery, 16 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, Ireland