Jeffrey Smart’s paintings of the urban landscape have been described as the work of ‘an old master, recording contemporary banality.’ Smart’s imagery considers the beauty of the mundane reality of roads, fences and tower blocks, inviting comparison with the work of Italian Renaissance artists such as Piero Della Francesco.Read More
Smart attended the South Australian School of Arts and Crafts, in Adelaide (1938-1941) and studied in Europe in the late 1940s, which included a period of tuition with Ferdinand Léger (1948-1950). In 1963 he emigrated to Italy where he has remained, while continuing to exhibit regularly in Australia.
Smart’s paintings of the urban environment are characterised by an exemplary care and crafting, with a formalist orchestration of colour and composition. Rather than record the detail of a particular city or town, Smart’s images are far more universal, giving consideration to humanity and experience of urban life.
In 1999 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sydney and that same year a major retrospective of his work toured Australia curated by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Amongs many other major public and private collections Smart is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.