John Smith

John Smith was born in Sydney. He has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from University of Sydney and has a national reputation as a practicing artist. He has had more than thirty solo exhibitions and has work in many major public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery Artbank (Sydney), many Regional Galleries and numerous private collections. He has been primarily represented by Legge and Watters Galleries in Sydney for the last 30 years. John Smith recently retired as the Course Coordinator of the Visual Art program at Southern Cross University, on the north coast of NSW where he has lived since the late 1970’s.

The tension in his work oscillates between making and effacing simultaneously.

This irony is expressed in puns in many of the titles he uses: ‘quietly bursting balloons,’ ‘standing on your head,’ ‘the look of something to say,’ ‘empty rhetoric,’ ‘scribbling rivalry,’ ‘standing under knowledge,’ ‘the number at the bottom of memory,’ ‘a measure of instinct. As abstract as it comes.


  • John Smith – Poor Fuc$ing Clowns
  • John Smith – Bursting Balloons
  • John Smith – The Look of Something to Say
  • John Smith – What on Earth are you doing Jack
  • John Smith – Wandering Jill
  • John Smith – Black Board Gronk – Ahead of Storm
  • John Smith – Snappy Jack
  • John Smith – Jack in the Dog
  • John Smith – Jack in the Box
  • John Smith – Jack & Memory
  • John Smith – Jack & Jill Entanged
  • John Smith – Deep in the Hill
  • John Smith – And Jill Came Tumbling After