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John Smyth

John Vanston Smyth

I was born in Fort William, in the Highlands of Scotland, in 1978. I lived there until moving to study at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen in 1996. After graduating, I lived and worked in various places all over Scotland. Recently, I moved to Poland where I continue to produce art work.

I am a painter working mainly in oils. The main subject of my work is the human form and my approach to this is naturalistic or realistic. To complement the figures I use Abstract elements varying from simple sheets of colour to textured impasto and decorative pattern. These abstract elements may work simply as a background or may encroach over the figure creating a more dynamic interplay between the abstract and the real. I feel that the contrast between the highly disciplined pursuit of naturalistic figurative painting and the freedom of working with abstraction provides balance in my work on both a visual and conceptual level.

Curriculum Vitae


1996-2000 Grays School of Art, Aberdeen,

BA Hons Fine Art, Painting.



2000, David Gordon Memorial trust award


Selected Exhibitions

2000, Bridge View Gallery, Aberdeen

Graduate Exhibition, Strathearn Gallery, Crief

Young Scottish Painters, Phillips Auctioneers, Edinburgh

New Faces, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh

2001, Neaps Annual Exhibition, Bridge View Gallery, Aberdeen

2002, Grays Former Student Biennial Exhibition, Aberdeen Art Gallery

2003, Neaps Annual Exhibition, Woodend Art Centre, Aberdeen

Three Scotsmen, The Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen

Summer Exhibition, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh

Affordable Art Fair, London

Christmas Exhibition, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh

2004, AAF, Art Fair, Spring, London

Figures of Eight, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh

Festival Show, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh

Christmas Exhibition, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh

2005, The Affordable Art Fair, Spring, London

10th Anniversary Exhibition, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh

Beneath The Surface, Curated by Headquarter Contemporary Art, in association      with The Albemarle Gallery, At Holman Fenwick & Willan, Marlow House, Lloyd’s Avenue, London

Winter Salon at The Albemarle gallery, London W1.

2006,   Recent works, Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen

Mixed exhibition, Oisin Gallery, Dublin

AAF, Art Fair, London

Christmas exhibition, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh

2007,   Shades of Gray, The Leith Gallery, Edinburgh

Cambridge art fair

‘Modern Figure’, The Oisin Gallery, Dublin

Solo show, The Leith gallery

2008,   AAF, Art Fair, London

Mixed Show, Tracey Mcnee Fine art, Glasgow

2009,   Mixed Show, Hannas Fine art gallery, Dundee

2010,   Solo Show, Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen

Devon Art Fair, Torquay, Devon

2011,   Galerie de Archange, Paris

2013, Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen