Comprehensive new monograph on the influential British artist-filmmaker—renown for his playful and formally ingenious subversion of the everyday world—, with essays by Ian Christie, Martin Herbert, Kathrin Meyer, and Ethan de Seife.
Conceived and designed in collaboration with the artist, this publication includes a complete fully illustrated filmography spanning 84 pages, with images and synopses from nearly fifty film and video works made between 1972 and 2012.
Herbert's text provides an incisive overview of Smith's work over the past four decades while Christie examines Smith's oeuvre within the context of English eccentricity. Meyer's essay discusses Smith's film The Black Tower in relation to absence and abstraction while de Seife looks at cinematic scale through the prism of Smith's Gargantuan.
Initially inspired by conceptual art and the structural materialist ideas that dominated British artists' filmmaking during his formative years, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, John Smith (born 1952 in Walthamstow, East London, lives and works in London) has developed a body of work that deftly subverts the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. Often rooted in everyday life, Smith's meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring the tensions between illusionism and material construction.
Since 1972 John Smith has made over fifty film, video and installation works that have been shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television around the world and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals.
In 2011 he received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists and in 2013 he was the winner of Film London's Jarman Award. His work is held in numerous collections including Arts Council England, Tate Gallery, Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, Kunstmuseum Magdeburg, Ferens Art Gallery and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.