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Exhibition Opening: GORD SMITH


Exhibition Opening: GORD SMITH

GORD SMITH was born in Montreal on October 8, 1937. He studied Architecture and Engineering at Sir George Williams University, and went on to work with the architectural firm of Lawson Betts and Cash in Montreal from 1956 to 1958. In 1967, he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA). He was Assistant Professor in the Department of Visual Arts of the University of Victoria from 1972 to 1975, and from 1993–94, he assumed a teaching role as Visiting Professor in the Department of Art and History, McMaster University, Hamilton.

Throughout his impressive career, Smith has thrived on commissions and collaborations with architects Webb Zefara Menkes, Arthur Erickson, Bregman Hamman, Leslie Rebanks, Gene Kinoshita and other prominent firms, has worked with renown artists Sir Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, and was once the drummer for Leonard Cohen.

A force in his own right, the 80-yr-old artist currently resides in Toronto, where he has burst forth in recent years in a creative renewal that already sees him laying claim to a prominent place in the art-history archives of the present century as well as the last. His current body of work employs both his traditional media—metals (bronze, welded steel)—and a new medium of wooden dowels.

His design philosophy and humble disposition is best summed up in a statement made to Canadian Art Magazine at the outset of his career: “Everything—materials, texture, size, design and statement in a work of art—welds together to a point where there exists only the work itself. It just happens. A work of art does not need interpretation. It does not matter who or what I am, it is the work that is important—it should be timeless and with a power of its own. If it speaks, it will be heard and what I say about it is not important.”

Work by Smith can be found in several prominent Canadian and international collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Art, Musée d'Art Contemporain Montreal, the Hamilton Art Gallery, Bell Canada corporate collection, and in the private collection of the Weston family, Sir Henry Moore, and Silvester Stallone, to name a few.

Now enjoying retirement in his 70s, Mintz leapt into personal creativity with astonishing results. With his passion for seeing things differently using a wide range of materials and methods, Mintz, employing techniques in painting, digital representation, and sculpture, he's been able to create unexpected and impressive outcomes.

Since 2010, he has completed commissions and began a collaboration with Gord Smith. The theme of optical geometry links this new collaborative sculpture with Gord Smith's early commissioned work for the Canadian Government Pavilion at Expo '67.

Mintz and Smith have a shared passion - the creation and appreciation of art. As friends and collaborators, they continue to unlock new interpretations and aspects of each other's art and creativity, several examples of which can be seen in this new show at Emily Harding Gallery.

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