Jesse Leroy Smith: Vigil
3 August—23 October 2007
In the Gallery Café
Jesse Leroy Smith attended the RA schools between 1989-92. He has been a frequent exhibitor in the Summer Exhibition including this year with two large-scale paintings and a dry-point print of the image Leopard shown here.
Jesse Leroy Smith, Leopard. Oil on canvas lined panel with quartz-based ground, 178 x 132cm.
He lives in Cornwall and exhibits this year at the Tate St Ives within the Art Now Cornwall Show and at Goldfish Fine Art in the solo show Vigil. He has received an award from the Arts Council England.
His new work has been enriched by recent trips to Venice. There he drew from paintings by artists such as Carpaccio and Titian, and the Giotto frescoes in Padua, experiencing these alongside influential contemporary artists such as William Kentridge and Marlene Dumas at the Biennale he has found his own iconic images.
Jesse Leroy Smith, Bruiser. Oil on canvas lined panel with quartz-based ground, 135 x 153cm.
Clad in a leopard skin, the figure appears self-possessed, all-powerful and iconic, a heroic image of innocence. In his work Smith appears to be repeatedly assessing the discrepancy between uniformity and individual identity, and instead is creating an image of myth and power. Susan Daniel-McElroy, ex director Tate St Ives