John Noel Smith

John Noel Smith was born in Dublin and attended Dun Laoghaire School of Art followed by postgraduate studies at der Universität der Künste Berlin. He lived in Berlin for 22 years before returning to Ireland and settling in Wexford.

Smith usually works in series and revisits many symbols that he has been using since the beginning of his career such as his knots. He has an enduring interest in Irish prehistory and his works, set in a contemporary stylistic idiom, find its source of origin in such artefacts as the ogham stone. He relies on pattern and motifs to represent various subjects and gives the subject a materiality in his use of paint. Aidan Dunne notes of Smith’s work, that while paint can imitate a variety of things, the appeal in Smith’s work is that paint looks and acts like paint. His use of colour, while unpredictable, is never jarring and serves to create a mechanism of interest and enables a strong formal reading of the overall composition.

Among his achievements John Noel Smith has exhibited internationally including at the Cacciola Gallery in New York’s Chelsea District and participated in a two person show on London’s Cork Street with renowned international sculptor Sir Anthony Caro. His work is in a number of important collections including Museum of Modern Art Dublin and Berlinische Galerie, the state museum of modern art in Berlin.
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