Nick Smith describes his work as ‘a bold taking-on of the constructivist aesthetic, but with playful traces of the post-modern era.’ Lines and blocks suggest floors and walls arranged in compressed spaces and tied together by linear perspective and geometry. Smith envisages these spaces as city vistas, playing with scale and tone and incorporating grey, particularly, as a symbol of urban materiality and also to serve as a ‘resting’buffer between passages of colour.
The work begins with pencil lines. These lines are like wires crossing and holding tension between objects, spaces and the border edges of the painting support. These lines cross to form geometric outlines that can be filled by colour or tone, to find positive expressions of surface, or left clear, to help guide the viewer around the work like routes on a map. Smith is interested to follow in the footsteps of key practitioners of European Modernism, including Laslo Moholy-Nagy and Kavinsky, and the graphic artists of the Bauhaus period.
“I am unafraid to leave the marks of initial exploration present in the finished work, knowing also that they give insight to the process of making paintings in an open and inviting way.”