UITSTALLING THE GALLERY

Lionel Smit

Discrepancies

DISCREPANCIES

On the schism between thought and form

 

“When a light appears in the darkness, the darkness becomes richer; and when a darkness appears in the light, the light becomes richer! Uniformity impoverishes, discrepancy enriches!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan 

 

Although, perhaps most notably, it is a body of work navigating incongruities within colour and texture, focusing on various tensions between elements of chance and controlled renderings of countenance, Lionel Smit’s Discrepancies – on exhibition at Uitstalling Gallery in Genk, Belgium – is also a body of work that does not shy away from the unsettled distinction between what we see and what we know. 

 

In John Berger’s 1972 influential book, Ways of Seeing, he begins by illustrating the discrepancy between images and words: “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak.” While seeing is what establishes our place within the world, it is words that we use to describe and explain this world and our place in it. “We explain the world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it”. 

Lionel Smit - Discrepancies 2021
Lionel Smit - Discrepancies 2021

IRREDUCIBLE REPRESENTATIONS #2

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Lionel Smit - Discrepancies 2021
Lionel Smit - Discrepancies 2021

DISCREPANCIES #2

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Lionel Smit - Discrepancies 2021
Lionel Smit - Discrepancies 2021

BROKEN SUBMERGE

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Lionel Smit - Discrepancies 2021
Lionel Smit - Discrepancies 2021

IRREDUCIBLE REPRESENTATIONS #2

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Uitstalling Art Gallery Catalogue_LR-19.jpg

LIONEL SMIT

Lionel Smit is one of South Africa’s most prolific and exalted artists. His artistic diversity is pursued through a variety of mediums and he is best known for his contemporary portraiture. 

Above all, Lionel Smit’s art is defined by a deeply rooted symbiotic relationship between sculpture and painting. Born in 1982 in Pretoria, Smit was exposed to a world of art through his father, renowned sculptor, Anton Smit, who worked from his studio adjacent to the family home.

Today, each of Lionel Smit’s works offers us an entry point into the variety and richness that lies beneath every face we encounter in life, whether applied in bronze or paint. The blending of techniques across genres is a display of Smit’s work in multiple media, all bearing a visible and tangible overlap. 

His paintings start with abstract lines and swaths of colour that establish a base for the subsequently overlaid image of a face or bust and has been known to use anonymous models from the Cape Malay community. For Smit, the Cape Malay woman epitomises a hybrid identity within a South African context and reflects the disintegrating construction of identity within our increasingly globalised world.

Lionel Smit’s process as an artist remains adaptive, inventive, and physically engaging. Through this he has achieved global success, including sell-out exhibitions in London and Hong Kong. 

His work continues to inspire and captivate the minds of art novices and experts alike, from Europe to America.

Lionel Smit - Active Transition #1

ACTIVE TRANSITION #1
Year: 2021
Oil on Linen
100 x 100cm

Lionel Smit - Active Transition #3

ACTIVE TRANSITION #3
Year: 2021
Oil on Linen
100 x 100cm

Lionel Smit - Active Transition #2

ACTIVE TRANSITION #2 
Year: 2021
Oil on Linen
100 x 100cm

Lionel Smit - Discreâncies #1

DISCREPANCIES #1
Year: 2021
Oil on Linen
120 x 120cm

Lionel Smit - Discrepancies #2

DISCREPANCIES #2
Year: 2021
Oil on Linen
120 x 120cm

Lionel Smit - Irreducible Representations

IRREDUCIBLE REPRESENTATIONS #1
Year: 2021
Oil on Linen
165 x 165cm

Lionel Smit - Irreducible Representations #2

IRREDUCIBLE REPRESENTATIONS #2
Year: 2021
Oil on Linen
165 x 165cm

Lionel Smit - Process Fragment E

PROCESS FRAGMENT E
Bronze
43 x 20 x 80cm
Edition 1 of 1
Base plate: 40 x 20cm, 2015

Lionel Smit - Recover

BROKEN SUBMERGE
Resin & Fibreglass, 2010
Hand Finished with Automotive Paint
33 x 55 x 83cm
Edition 1 of 12 - Base plate: 30 x 30cm

Lionel Smit - Crackhead

CRACKHEAD
Resin & Fibreglass, 2010
Hand Finished with Automotive Paint
33 x 40 x 78cm
Edition 6 of 12  - Base plate: 30 x 30cm

Lionel Smit - Recover

SMALL MALAY GIRL WITH HOLES
Resin & Fibreglass, 2010 
Hand Finished with Automotive Paint
33 x 55 x 81cm
Edition 5 of 12 - Base plate: 30 x 30cm

 
Lionel Smit - Adaptive Application #1

ADAPTIVE APPLICATION #1
Bronze on Copper Plate
25 x 20.5 x 43.5cm
Variable edition 2 of 12
Base plate: 20.5 x 20.5cm, 2021

Lionel Smit - Broken Maquette #2

BROKEN MAQUETTE #2
Bronze 18.5 x 18.5 x 50cm
Variable edition 3 of 6
Base plate: 18.5 x 18.5cm, 2021

Lionel Smit - Adaptive Application #2

ADAPTIVE APPLICATION #2
Bronze on Copper Plate
27.5 x 20.5 x 46.5cm
Variable edition 2 of 12
Base plate: 20.5 x 20.5cm, 2021

Lionel Smit - Adaptive Application #3

ADAPTIVE APPLICATION #3
Bronze on Copper Plate
26 x 20.5 x 46.5cm
Variable edition 2 of 12
Base plate: 20.5 x 20.5cm, 2021

Lionel Smit - Divergence

DIVERGENCE
Bronze
26 x 27 x 24cm
Edition 9 of 12, 2020