Featured Foto: Martin Smith, detail of Surface and Depth – Red/Yellow (2009), installation view at the artist’s Camden studio
The refined minimalist Martin Smith is a central figure in British ceramics. He trained at Bristol Polytechnic Faculty of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art, and sees himself as an artist while designing his work with the mindset of an architect and meticulously planning each piece.
Since the start of his career in the late 1970s, Smith has exhibited internationally and examples of his work can be found in many public collections worldwide. A major retrospective was held at the Museum Bojimans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, in 1996 and in 2001 he made Wavelength, a site-specific work for Tate St. Ives. He is also known for his multi-disciplinary approach to design and site-specific furniture.
Previously Professor of Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, a position he held for 16 years, Smith has recently taken on a new role as Senior Research Fellow at the RCA, where he is researching the ‘Potential of the Digitally Printed Ceramic Surface’. He has recently designed the domestic-style gallery space for the Anthony Shaw Collection in York Art Gallery as well as continuing to explore his work in the field of ceramics.
Smith has achieved international recognition as one of the UK’s leading ceramic artists. This impressive selection of work spans his remarkable career from the 1970s to present day. The earliest raku pieces from 1977 were originally exhibited in Smith’s Royal College of Art Graduation Show as he started to define his core areas of investigation and visual language. The collection continues through to his most recent series of sculptures created in 2019 which demonstrate a culmination of precise execution and sensuous form. Many of his major bodies of work produced over this 43 year period are represented, some never previously exhibited in the UK. Although appearance, material and technique may change radically, it is possible to discern a continuous thread linking all works.
Across two venues:
Marsden Woo Showroom
The artist’s Camden studio
July 1 – August 31, 2020
Text from Marsden Woo
All Works by Martin Smith
Object photos © the artist / Installation photos © Philip Sayer