by courtesy of John Smith © John Smith Films 2016
Known for their formal ingenuity, wit, and oblique storytelling, John Smith’s films have been widely shown internationally for over 30 years. Initially inspired by conceptual art and structural film, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, Smith has developed an extensive body of work that blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. Often rooted in everyday life, his meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema.
John Smith was born in Walthamstow, east London in 1952 and studied at the Royal College of Art. Since 1972 he has made over fifty film, video and installation works that have been widely shown internationally in art galleries and independent cinemas and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals. He received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists in 2011, and in 2013 he was the winner of Film London’s Jarman Award. Recent solo exhibitions include Kate MacGarry, London (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig (2015); Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin (2015) and Centre d'Art Contemporain de Noisy-le-Sec, Paris (2014). His work is held in numerous collections including Tate Gallery, Arts Council England, Kunstmuseum Magdeburg, Ferens Art Gallery and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.