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Item Name: Print
Title: Lilac and green
Maker: Gordon Smith
Year: 1965
Country: Canadian
Materials: silkscreen on paper
Measurements: in frame: 70 cm x 67 cm; work: 47.6 cm x 46 cm
ID Number: ART 078
Legal Status: ART RENTAL


Extended Label Info: The geometric patterns of alternating, bright colours vibrate intensely in this artist-made print by Gordon Smith. Using silkscreens, Smith applied each colour separately: red, blue, green and yellow. From a distance, it appears that we can also see a lilac colour; this is an optical illusion. This form of abstraction, known as “Op Art” is an example of Smith’s interest in experimenting with the visual elements of pattern, colour, shape, and line. Gordon described himself as “one hundred painters deep” because he was always open to the influence of other artists; his mentors included the renowned pioneers of abstraction in Canada, Jack Shadbolt, B.C. Binning, and the landscape artist Fred Amess. Over his long career, Smith became known for his Expressionist paintings which combined his deep love of nature and the landscapes of British Columbia with his commitment to abstraction. Gordon Smith (1919-2020) was born in Hove, Sussex, UK and resided in Vancouver, British Columbia. He earned an art degree in 1944 from the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art and Design). He continued his studies at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), returning to Canada to teach at the Vancouver School of Art (1945-1954), and at University of British Columbia (1956-1982). Gordon and his late wife established the Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation which continues to support arts education. Gordon Smith received numerous awards, including: First Prize, Biennial of Canadian Art (1955); Allied Arts Medal, Royal Canadian Architectural Institute (1974); an Honourary Doctorate from Emily Carr (1995); the Order of Canada (1996); the Order of British Columbia (2000); and the Governors General’s Award, Visual and Media Arts (2009). His work is represented in many collections, including National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Canada Council Art Bank; MOMA, New York; National Collection, Smithsonian Institute, Washington; Vancouver Art Gallery.