david brian smith – goodwill and the unknown man – at carl freedman

10 November 2012 § Leave a comment

Two years ago I bid for a David Brian Smith work at a charity auction, going to nearly double estimate before dropping out. It turned out I had been up against no less a collector than Charles Saatchi.

He was infact adding to the several Smith works that he already has in his collection – with the added bonus of helping to create a higher market and increasing the value of his own works! Oh to be in such a position….

Carl Freedman has now given Smith a solo show at his newly opened east London space and I would be astonished if it is not already a sell-out. Unfortunately I have yet to make it over there and with just a week to run I would be remiss in not recommending a visit based on previous sight of Smith works.

The exhibition was also recently recommended as ‘Exhibition of the Week’ by no less than Paul Hobson, director of the influential Contemporary Art Society (an organisation any serious collector should join right away!). Since I cannot review first hand I cannot do better than quote from his excellent review:

“[the show] showcases his technical ability and evolving style as a painter and offers further insight into his somewhat hallucinatory vision and underlying autobiographical and art historical references.  The exhibition brings together recent work, medium scale paintings where a figure or figures are situated in psychedelic and symbolic landscapes, alluding to spiritual or heightened emotional interiors. Based on a black and white photograph from the 1930s … the image has poignant autobiographical association for the artist which he often revisits.  Other paintings are based on a 1912 photograph of his great-grandfather, a colonial explorer, which build upon the familial, patriarchal theme of the work.  Painting on herringbone linen Smith allows the underlining herringbone pattern to disrupt and fragment the reading of the image, often asserting the pattern by painting it over final composition, creating a collaged effect and generating a dizzying, altered condition of perception, skilfully handled. 

In this case it would be a wise person who follows Saatchi’s lead and invests in Smith.This is a relatively young artist with a long way to go and his stock will surely rise.

David Brian Smith runs until 17 November 2012 at Carl Freedman Gallery

Images courtesy of Carl Friedman Gallery

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