Artwork Description / Detail
Born in New Plymouth in 1939, Michael Smither has produced a vast and varied body of work over his career. Smither enrolled with the Elam School of Fine Arts Auckland in 1959, where he was taught by A. Lois White, Robert Ellis and John Weeks. Throughout his prolific career Smither has explored diverse creative avenues such as painting, printmaking, sculpture and music.
Smither made his name with his intimate observations of his local environments, family and friends, and objects of the everyday, transforming them into works of art that have come to sit alongside our notion of identity as New Zealanders, and cemented his position as one of this country’s leading exponents of the realist style.
During the 2000s Smither abandoned the heightened realism that made his reputation and has come to concentrate on musical composition, as well as art. As a composer and pianist, he developed a unique understanding of the correlation that existed between the world of colour and the world of sound. This led to the development of a visual harmonic chart, its progressions informing 2 and 3-dimensional works. These colourful abstractions are lyrical and painterly, they feature series and compositions of bands and shapes of opulent colour, with textured surfaces that give life.
Michael Smither is arguably one of New Zealand’s most celebrated realist painters as indicated by the recent touring survey exhibition of 2005 The Wonder Years at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki. His work is held in several prestigious public collections including Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand and the Auckland Art Gallery as well as being included in numerous private collections on an international scale.