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Solo Exhibition, Everard Read, Johannesburg, 2017





The extensive artworks of Lionel Smit's solo exhibition opens at the Everard Read, Johannesburg on.

Lionel Smit, in collaboration with Everard Read Johannesburg, presents the solo exhibition STATE. This body of work explores the idea of the different emotional states we find ourselves in and how surroundings influence that state of mind. Through adding video works, Smit has created an environment where he has influenced the exhibition space, allowing him to direct the viewers’ state.

This has a profound impact on how we experience the work. Various works explore the female figure as portrait, with the continuation of his ideas on the construction of identity with layers of paint and silkscreen fabricating the fragmentation of the subject. Each of Smit’s works offers us an entry point into the variety and richness that lies beneath every face we encounter in life, whether applied in bronze or in paint.

Relocate #1, 2017, Oil on Linen, 150x120cm

Relocate #1, 2017, Oil on Linen, 150x120cm

Relocate #2, 2017, Oil on Linen, 150x120cm

Relocate #2, 2017, Oil on Linen, 150x120cm

The blending of techniques across genres is a display of Smit’s work in multiple media, all bearing visible overlap. His work is loaded with both historical and aesthetic precedent; clearly focused on the dialogue between the figurative and expressive abstract. Smit thus translates his own understanding of identity - drawing from images in his daily surrounds.

Multiple essays were written in conjunction with this exhibition. Read them here.

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Everard Read Johannesburg

Everard Read is Africa’s oldest commercial art gallery. Established along a dusty street in the young mining town of Johannesburg the gallery celebrates its centenary year in 2013. Evolving within the continents economic powerhouse, Everard Read has since its inception been associated with pre-eminent artists working in Southern Africa.

Throughout the 20th Century, a large proportion of South Africa’s most important paintings and sculpture graced the interior of the gallery in central Johannesburg. Everard Read has also been involved in sourcing Fine Art from acclaimed international artists and continues to do so. This, over decades, profoundly stimulated the tastes and sophistication of art collectors in a country somewhat isolated during apartheid.

In the dynamic contemporary era in South Africa, Everard Read is at its core a gallery dedicated to exhibiting paintings and sculpture by South Africa’s finest modern and contemporary artists. The development of young artists’ careers is also a crucial component of the gallery’s mission.

After our 50 years in the city centre, in the late 1970’s, a new gallery was built to house Everard Read on Jellicoe Avenue, Rosebank. This building has since become a celebrated icon of South African post-modern design.

In 2009, the CIRCA building was developed alongside the gallery. CIRCA, which is supported by Deutsche Bank has been internationally recognised as an outstanding contribution to South African architecture. Within the subtle curved walls of CIRCA, a series of profound and powerful exhibitions have already been held. The curatorial directors seek to intersperse contemporary art exhibitions with human technology and scientific installations. The magnificent Darwin Room at the apex of CIRCA is used for workshops and lectures.

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