Richard Smith was born in 1931. He is a British artist who has had a long and distinguised career, representing Britain at the official pavilions at the Venice Biennale and the Sao Paulo Biennale. His exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery (in 1973) and the Tate (in 1975) influenced a generation of British art students and from his current base in New York he continues to regularly show in Britain with the Angela Flowers Gallery
His current work consists of shaped canvases or boards on which he applies brightly coloured paint in grids. On top of this structural process-like application Richard Smith traces colour which follows a seemingly random path. The energy of these lines is emphasised by the background's systematic approach. Often the diamond shaped works are hung together; each a separate work but given a new sense by their grouping. They look, at first glance, very decorative but this belies their inherent strength and depth. They demand some attention. Only then can one appreciate the subtleties
Talking about his visit to Guernsey, Richard Smith said "The idea of being a visiting artist in Guernsey caught my imagination…I spent some time in Cornwall in 96 and 97 and enjoyed being close to the ocean and distant from London and New York."
While in Guernsey, Richard Smith created for the first time a set of wall paintings which worked in conjunction with a series of earlier hanging Objects. It was a project that Richard Smith had wanted to realise for a long time and by painting directly on "the gallery" walls in acrylic he captured the colour vibrancy and structure of the earlier work and created an immediate 2-D connection to the original 3-D object.
Richard Smith's visit to the island coincided with the Opening of Tate Britain's re-hang of its British Collection as part of its Centenary Development. Within this prestigious exhibition the artist was represented by five works. The Richard Smith exhibition in Guernsey ran from Friday 23 November until Friday 14 December 2001.