Thank you to all who came out to my Private View last night. What a joy to see familiar faces and meet new ones while sharing stories of lost and found artworks. The after party at the Groucho with old friends never disappoints!… A big thank you to Rhodes Contemporary gallery for hosting my latest show in their newly refurbed gallery space on New Compton St, Soho, London. Now open until June 1st.
We are delighted and proud to present our forthcoming exhibition PINCHED: a solo show of new works by contemporary conceptual artist Nick Smith.
This new exhibition containing over 20 new original works as well as new limited editions, examines famous artworks stolen throughout history, presenting the reconstructed images along with their idiosyncratic stories.
The show will open with the private view on May, 2nd. The exhibition will run thereafter until 1st June.
If you would like to attend the Private view and drinks reception on the evening of Thursday 2nd May between 6 - 8pm please RSVP to email@example.com
You can view the sales catalogue HERE
Smith often uses satire threads in economics, society and pop culture to curate his exhibitions, as previously seen in Priceless, in which he looked at the precariousness of the art market. PINCHED is a continuum of this body of work - his research on art markets leading him to the more abstract area of art theft. Smith is interested in what happens to ideas of value once an artwork has been stolen, as it is almost impossible for this to translate into monetary value.
The theft of the Mona Lisa in the early 1900s from the Louvre is commonly regarded as the first great art heist of the 20th century. This incident saw the dramatic elevation of the artwork in the popular consciousness, creating the phenomena that surrounds it today. Since then there has been a wealth of stories behind such heists as galleries and private collections. PINCHED examines these often surprising, always colourful heists and explores the absence of these works within art history and cultural identity.
The exhibition consists of 20 new works by the artist, with re-workings of infamous, instantly recognisable stolen artworks to some lesser known works by the heavy hitters of art history; including Vermeer’s The Concert (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum) and Munch’s The Scream (Munch Museum).
Extensive research went into the series, drawing on information collected from media archives, crime reports, CCTV, police statements and the most wanted list of the twentieth century’s biggest art heists.
Using his trademark colour chips, the artist has created specter-like chromatic blurs of images that have remained potent forces despite no longer being available for public consumption. In addition to his unique visual language of colour swatches, Smith presents a confident and playful collection of mixed medium artworks and screen prints highlighting the absurdity and intrigue left in the wake of these heists. The exhibition looks at the void left by these stolen works and how this manifests within public consciousness and cultural history, the material existence of these artworks was only one, and not strictly the crucial, element of meaning.
Based on Jacques Louis-David’s iconic 1801 painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps, Smith honours Nelly Duff Gallery’s own journey to Paris Urban Art Fair, presenting his own unique interpretation of one of France’s most notorious leaders combined with text from one of Britain’s best-known figures, Lord Byron.
And Earth hath spilt her blood for him,
Who thus can hoard his own!
And Monarchs bow’d the trembling limb,
And thank’d him for a throne!
Fair Freedom! we may hold thee dear,
When thus thy mightiest foes their fear
In humblest guise have shown.
Oh, ne’er may tyrant leave behind
A brighter name to lure mankind!
Lord Byron, ‘Ode To Napoleon Buonaparte’, 1814
For this 2019 edition, created exclusively for Nelly Duff’s exhibit with Urban Art Fair, the words of Bryon’s infamous ‘Ode to Napoleon’ adorn each carefully selected pantone chip to replicate David’s original painting. Each figure respectively commands a mixed reaction to their reputations, both men of great passion and undeniable leaders in their fields, both have been condemned for their gaping flaws; being fabulously egotistical, greedy and vain. David, a revolutionary and admirer of Napoleon created his 1801 artwork to flatter the ever-growing ego of Napoleon, and to convey him as a true and powerful leader. Conversely, Byron’s lengthy and condemning verse written upon Napoleon’s exile tears down his carefully constructed persona.
In a time where political figures rely on well-chosen photo opportunities and overly-curated social media profiles to convey their propriety, Smith’s immense edition contextualises one of the world’s most recognisable personalities within his own contemporary and incredibly slick style. In dissolving the sharp features and details of David’s original painting, while retaining the red, white and blue of the revolutionary Tricolore, Smith visualises the hypocrisies of not only Napoleon, but also contemporary political leaders that hide behind bravado and vanity in the public eye.
‘Napoleon 2019’ will be available to purchase in person only at our stand at Urban Art Fair 2019, and will release online and in store to the general public from 6pm GMT Sunday April 14th.
‘Napoleon 2019’ : ed. of 50, (100cm x 84cm) £395
Flatbed print, with screen printed varnishes
You can purchase this print HERE.
Nick presents his latest print edition inspired by international Air Max day. Measuring 46 x 70cm, this limited edition giclee is printed on Somerset Satin 300gsm paper with a screen printed varnish over the colour blocks. Each print is signed, numbered and embossed.
This print is available for purchase online exclusively via Rhodes Contemporary Gallery on Tuesday 26th March at 16:00 GMT using this Link
Close up reading of this print celebrates the creators, influencers & milestones of this iconic shoe, over the 29 years of its colourful, air cushioned history.
Please note: There are no presales for this print launch. This is an online sale on a first come first serve basis only. Many thanks!
On the evening of Thursday 6th December, Nick previewed his latest show titled ‘Psalms’ at Nelly Duff Gallery on London’s famous Columbia Road. 10 new prints each in an edition of 40 were presented. The work was well received with many of the print editions selling out on the night. Nick would like to thank all who came out on the evening and the Nelly Duff team for putting on such a tasty show. If you would like to snag one of the 3 remaining print editions… click the link
Credit to @raygrams for the photography!
We are excited to announce that Nick’s next exhibition opens on the 29th November at Nelly Duff Gallery in East London. Titled Psalms, this is a print show featuring 10 new prints, each an edition of 40. For all sales enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 7033 9683.
If you would like to attend the Private View on Thursday 29th November between 6:00 - 8:30pm please click this link to register your interest.
You can read more about the concept behind the show if you head over to the Nelly Duff website here
Nick was invited by The Big Issue charity to design limited edition wrapping paper along with David Shirley, Ben Eine & Pure Evil.
All profits go directly back to helping give people on the margins a hand up,
You can buy a multi pack or signed individual sheets here
The multi pack
Signed individual sheet
Hailing from Scotland himself, Nick was asked by the community in Iona to donate a piece of postcard sized art to help fund the campaign to build a new village hall on the island.
400 postcard sized artworks are available to bid on, in a blind auction which runs until 21st November. You can find Nick’s contribution in Gallery 3 in the £400 - £1000 bracket
The winning bidders will be notified thereafter with instructions to make payment directly to Iona Village hall community trust. Artworks will be despatched once payment has cleared. Postage to a UK address is free, international shipping may incur a small surcharge, usually less than £10 but please enquire for a quote.
Smith’s recreation of the shore of Iona is a miniaturised version of his standard sized work, and thus is unique in his body of work. To place a bid for this work click this link to enter Gallery 3.
A little note from Macallan below on Smiths recent artistic collaboration
"To celebrate our commitment to natural colour, we partnered with Scottish artist Nick Smith to create some of our favourite malts in his distinctive style; using colour swatches to explore the palette of his subject. This beautiful artwork features a true Macallan classic, The Macallan Rare Cask."
"Opening a bottle of Macallan always arouses my senses. The weight of the bottle and the subtle colour of its contents. That joyful glugging sound as I pour a dram, revealing hidden aromas. Finally the moment when it hits my tongue and it all comes together - a heart-warming symphony is created." - Artist (and whisky fan) Nick Smith on The Macallan
You can purchase your Macallan Rare cask print for £195 here
You can purchase your Macallan Rare cask black print for £195 here
Nick presents his latest print edition inspired by the movie classic, Jaws. The print measures 60 x 72cm and is a limited edition of 50. Printed on Somerset Satin 300gsm paper with a screen printed varnish over the colour blocks, each print is signed, numbered and embossed and sold with a certificate of Authenticity.
The text in this print is taken from the chilling scene in the Orca's cabin, where shark hunter Quint, describes the horror of being stranded in the ocean with hundreds of his fellow servicemen, while slowly being picked off by sharks one by one. You can view the scene here.
With not long to go until Smith's next show opens at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, we thought we'd whet your appetite with a short introductory trailer.
Remember to add your email to the mailing list in the contacts page to be the first to receive the sales catalogue.
This coming April, Smith returns for his fourth show at Lawrence Alkin Gallery, with a new body of work titled Priceless.
Smith builds upon last year’s world record breaking $450,000,000 sale of Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi at Christie’s, as the catalyst to explore the world of high-end art auction results and the wider topic of the commercial value of art.
With 30 new original artworks and two limited print editions, Smith poses the question… ‘Just how much will we pay for something priceless?’
Please register your interest by hitting subscribe to ensure you're the first to receive the sales catalogue.
Private view invitations, along with further information, will be released closer to the time.
Smith will be contributing towards FaceValue2. A show which will ‘confront identity changed by the potentially devastating effects of others’. The concept behind FaceValue2 is to use over 25 collaborative artworks to show the effect on one’s identity an outside influence can have, ranging from minimal to near devastating.
25+ artists have donated an artwork knowing it will be handed to an unspecified artist to use as a reference point to take it on a new journey with varying destinations. The result being a collaboration between two artists, producing one coherent work which has had its identity altered by another.
The show is located at Jealous Gallery, EC2, London between 9th - 17th March. 100% of the proceeds of the FaceValue2 exhibition are going directly to The Katie Piper Foundation, charity that specialise in helping in the recovery of those of our society have had their own, physical identity altered.
Smith was paired with the Chapman Brothers. The original work is titled... The lisper lisps, the stutterer stutters, the dyslexic disleksiks it. A lithographic print editioned 49/50 measuring 100x68cm with a face value of £1,800
Having used McDonald's as a theme for many years, Jake & Dinos' print was run over by several patrons at a McDonald's Drive Thru.
Adorned with new McTire marks, Smith tore the piece in two, then printed the cause of the altered identity in his signature style on the reverse, then stuck it back together.
Smith is currently exhibiting his Rembrandt's Ruff Ryders series 1-10 at this years Art Basel, Miami with Lawrence Alkin Gallery located at Scope Art Fair, Miami Beach on booth D19.
For complimentary tickets and all sales enquiries, please contact email@example.com
Proper Noun: (1606–69), Dutch painter.
Full name Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn.
Noun: A projecting starched frill worn round the neck.
Characteristic of Elizabethan and Jacobean costume.
Noun: A person rydin’ a motorcycle dirty.
Popularised by DMX’s 1998 Ruff Ryders’ Anthem.
On the evening of Wednesday 15th November 2017, Christies New York auction house opened bids for the last remaining Leonardo Da Vinci painting available in private hands, Salvator Mundi. After 20 minutes of bidding it achieved an eye watering auction price of $400,000,000. When combined with auction fees the buyer had to stump up another $50,312,500 bringing the total sale price to a world record breaking $450,312,500.
In an attempt to quantify this immense sum of money Smith reinterprets Da Vinci's painting at the exact same dimensions in his signature style, resulting in 509 individual colour chips each having a proportional value of $889,945 and 65 cents.
Read more about it here
A few months ago, Nick was invited to collaborate on a project with world renowned makers of fine Scotch single malt whisky, Macallan. Today marks the first day of this project being shared online. Over the coming fortnight, Macallan and Smith will share with you the importance of subtle colour variations, which create the visual identity of a finely crafted single malt.
Macallan wanted to pair with an artist who has a deep understanding of colour and the ability to coordinate this language into beautiful handmade artworks; The choice to work with Smith was an obvious one.
You can follow The Macallan Whisky on instagram to view the project here
The Macallan Double Cask 12 - Collage on paper
The Macallan Rare Cask - Collage on paper
The Macallan Fine Oak 12 - Collage on paper
Nick Smith Macallan Rare Cask Black