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Michael Smith: Sea of Change

May 25, 2024October 27, 2024

Montreal-based painter Michael Smith is known for his fluid and impasto surfaces as well as his ability to strike a poetic balance between representation and abstraction. Inspired by art history as well as historic and current events, Smith pulls from various sources to create his energetic landscapes and seascapes. His Sea of Change series includes massive canvases exploding with colour and energy, as well as smaller studies on paper. These were inspired by a serendipitous encounter with a 19th-century painting of the Arctic expedition ship H.M.S. Terror during his time as artist-in-residence at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in 2018. Layering texture and colour, the familiar with the unfamiliar, Smith’s paintings convey (as the artist writes) “a mix of excitement and anxiety of a land [that] although at times bucolic, is riddled with shadows.”

Curated by John Leroux, and organized and circulated by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.