Gemma Smith: Orbits

6 April

April 27, 2024

Milani Gallery

Gemma Smith’s work takes the form of both painting and sculpture. Through her explorations of colour theory, pictorial depth and sculptural form, Smith has developed a body of abstract work that both playfully and seriously investigates the shifting pictorial plane.

Her early work was based on abstract paintings of crystalline forms exploring geometric and spatial possibilities in jewel-like colours. She explored these forms three-dimensionally in her Adaptables sculptures. Recent paintings have departed from precise geometries and exact their complex colour-play from a combination of spontaneous painterly gesture and hard-edge colour-blocking that tangle and weave together to create intriguing spatial incongruities.

Gemma Smith studied at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, between 1997 and 1999; and in 2004 at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.

Since 2000, Smith’s work has featured in more than 100 exhibitions. Notable among them are: Rhythm Sequence, UNSW Galleries, Sydney, 2019; Superposition of three types, Artspace, Sydney, 2017; Painting. More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, 2016; Pittsburgh Biennial, Pittsburgh Centre for the Arts, Pittsburgh, 2014; Forcefields, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2014; Case Study: Gemma Smith Considers the Work of Margo Lewers, Penrith Regional Gallery, Sydney, 2011; Cubism & Australian Art, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2009; Gemma Smith: Entanglement Factor, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne 2009; Contemporary Australia: Optimism, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 2008; Primavera, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2008.

Smith has exhibited regularly with Sarah Cottier Gallery since 2006 and with Milani Gallery, Brisbane since 2008.

Smith’s work is held in museum, corporate and private collections, including those of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Queensland College of Art and Griffith Artworks, Brisbane; Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane; University of Queensland, Brisbane; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; Murdoch University, Perth; Deakin University, Melbourne; Artbank, Sydney; KPMG, Brisbane; Gaden’s Lawyers, Brisbane; QIC, Brisbane; and UBS, Sydney.

Smith has produced several public artworks, including Triple Tangle, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Foyer Commission, 2018; Collision and Improvisation (ceiling), 2012, Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law, Brisbane; and Synchro (Peach/Red Oxide), 2010, Brisbane Airport.

Smith was born in Sydney and based there until 2004; in Brisbane from 2004 to 2012; and in Pittsburgh, United States, from 2012 to 2014. She currently lives and works in Sydney.

Image: Gemma Smith, Primary, 2024, Acrylic on linen, 200 x 230cm.

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