GORDON APPELBE SMITH RCA,BCSA,CGP, CPE, OC (b. 1919)
Gordon Smith is an expressionist and geometric abstract painter, muralist and sculptor who was born in Hove, England and has lived in Canada since 1933; first in Winnipeg, and since 1940 in Vancouver. His mediums include oil, acrylic, watercolour, pencil, silkscreen, etching and mix mediums. His subjects include landscape, cityscape and pure abstract. As stated his styles are abstract expressionist, geometric abstract, cubist, realist and expressionist.
He studied at the Winnipeg School of Art, under Lemoine Fitzgerald, and the Vancouver School of Art, graduating in 1946. He also taught at the Vancouver School of Art and was a Professor at the University of British Columbia from 1956 until his retirement (from teaching) in 1982. His travels include, the USA, Europe, South America, Japan and Egypt. It should also be noted he served in combat in World War II (1940 – 44) and still limps from wounds he received in Italy.
His first show was with the Manitoba Society of Artists in 1937; he has been showing his work almost continuously since then; including several one man shows at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Greater Victoria Art Gallery and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. He has also shown at the Sao Paulo Biennial (1960), the Seattle World’s Fair (1962), and the Osaka World’s Fair (1970): and with the Ontario Society of Artists, the Canadian Group of Painters (president 1957 - 58) and the Royal Canadian Academy. He is still very active (2009) creating and showing large (60” X 60” or larger) expressionist paintings and installations inspired by scenery in West Vancouver, where he has lived since 1953.
His work is in the collections of dozens of museums including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the Victoria and Albert (London), Tate (London) and The Smithsonian (Washington, D.C.). It is also in numerous corporate and private collections. And his murals are in public spaces like the Queen Elizabeth theatre (Vancouver) and Simon Fraser University (Burnaby B.C.).
His awards include First Prize at the Biennial of Canadian Art (1955), a senior fellowship from the Canada Council (1960), Honorary Doctorate from Simon Fraser University (1973), Professor Emeritus from the University of British Columbia (1983), Honorary Doctorate from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design (1995) and the Order of Canada (1996).
As one of Canada’s most prominent artists his work is discussed in most books on Canadian art history and Canadian modern art. There are also dozens of magazine and Newspaper stories. In addition there is the book GORDON SMITH The Act of Painting (1997) by Ian M. Thom and Andrew Hunter, published by Douglas & McIntyre and The Vancouver Art Gallery (161 pages, colour and black and white photos). He is also listed in Who's Who in American Art, 1982; A Dictionary of Canadian Artists (1974), by Colin S. MacDonald, published by Canadian Paperbacks Ltd.; and The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar, published by Westbridge Publications Ltd.
Prepared and submitted by M.D.Silverbrooke