Jack Smith British, 1928-2011

Born 18 June 1928 in Sheffield and awarded a scholarship to Sheffield College of Art 1944-6, Jack Smith was also a National Serviceman in the R.A.F. 1946-8. He resumed studies at St Martin's School of Art 1948-50, and at the R.C.A. 1950-3 under John Minton, Ruskin Spear and Carel Weight. At first Smith worked in a neo-realist style (the so-called 'Kitchen-sink School'), choosing subjects from the domestic life of his own home, but since 1956 has become increasingly interested in representing light and its transformatory effects on shapes seen in the open air and under water. His first one-man exhibition at the Beaux Arts Gallery was in 1953. He began teaching at Bath Academy, Corsham, and made sculptures of children and dogs running 1953. Following visits to Madrid and Toledo 1954, and Venice 1955, he won first prize at the first John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 1956. Began regular visits to Mevagissey and Zennor, Cornwall, 1956. Smith taught at Chelsea School of Art from 1957. Smith was represented at the Venice Biennale 1956 and had a retrospective exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1959.