Lionel Smit Press

  • Smit Didrichsen 2017


    Lionel Smit
    by Maria Didrichsen, January 2017

    His monumental paintings and sculptures glow with color. His distinctive use of color is comparable to classical representational painting, and the expression in his sculptures is encapsulated in fragments.

    In his art, Smit studies the identity of South Africa’s continuously changing population. Its formation and preservation in a multi-cultural society and a globalized world is a major challenge. He is fascinated by what defines and characterizes individuals and groups, their origins and transformation. These are manifested most strongly in human faces, the artist’s most prominent subject.

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  • Lionel Smit Art New England


    by Christopher Volpe, September/October 2016

    CYNTHIA-REEVES is determinedly positioning itself as a powerhouse of innovative projects and public art.

    His most recent installation, South African artist Lionel Smit’s Morphous – a massive, Janus-like bronze of a Cape Malay woman in New York City’s Union Square – is the sixth public installation the gallery has completed in the city. To compliment the installation, CYNTHIA-REEVES is exhibiting Smit’s work in its sister gallery on the campus of MASS MoCA.

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  • Smit House and Lesisure 2015


    SA Sculpture Shines in NY
    by Chrizanda Botha, June 3, 2016

    Featuring a mirrored bust of a Cape Malay woman, Morphous explores the concept of hybrid identity and a binary existence, specifically within the context of South Africa’s very diverse cultural and racial landscape.

    Pretoria-born artist Lionel Smit, son of renowned sculptor Anton Smit, is jetting off to New York to install his body of work, titled Morphous, in New York’s historic Union Square. The sculptural installation is being made possible by a collaboration between Cynthia Reeves, the New York City Parks Department, the Union Square Association and Art New York.Even though Lionel has presented a significant amount of work both locally and overseas, this will be his first public artwork showcased in the United States.

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  • Smit The South African 2015


    Lionel Smit sells out his London art show before opening night
    by John J. Cole-Morgan, June 15, 2015

    Few artists in the world ever sell out their art exhibitions in a foreign country. Lionel Smit though, opened his show in London last month and did just that.

    Artists around the world would dream of such a triumph, yet Smit takes it in his stride and doesn’t seem to notice. His down-to-earth attitude leaves him with an air of being on the way to something, and the journey is so exhilarating for him. It seems the pride Smit feels for selling his work is less about the money and more about the appreciation the buyers have for his work.

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  • Smit Huffington Post 2012


    Lionel Smit Paintings Depict The Cape Malay Woman
    by Alice E. Vincent, November 2012

    Smit’s portraits reel the viewer in with an intriguing contrast of bold blocks of colour and delicate linework with vivid effect. Blue and orange feature heavily in this show, reflecting the roots of the community while demonstrating the way identity changes in modern life.

    Smit, who lives and works in Cape Town, has returned to his large canvasses for his latest show, ‘STRATA’. A collection of striking portraits of the women from Cape Malay, an ethnic group in South Africa with Javanese origins.

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  • Smit Garden and Home


    Grand Scale
    by Gill Cullinan, April 2010

    “I need to keep myself contained as you can get so drained. You put a lot of yourself into a painting so you could get lost if you get too busy.”

    The very large scale of his work was prompted by a solo exhibition on huge walls at Grande Provence, Franschhoek. Despite the scale being risky as not everyone has the wall space or the budget for such large canvases, Lionel nevertheless decided to follow his heart and take the risk. “My ideas and the process I follow lend themselves to big pieces,” he says. “I want to be expressive and to maintain a realistic edge. The only way to do this is to work at this large scale. When you are up close it becomes abstract, but when you step back you get the whole picture.”

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  • Smit Christie’s



    “Anyone who knows me knows that I very rarely announce any sort of personal preference for a picture when it comes up for sale, however I did come out and say I really liked the Lionel Smit.”

    F. A. C. E. T. will be holding its first major charity fund raiser – an art auction during London’s Frieze week in October this year at a reception at Christie’s. Set to be a prestigious event, the supporting committee includes high-profile personalities, among them actors Hugh Grant and Uma Thurman, supermodel Naomi Campbell and Christie’s President Jussi Pylkannen who will serve as the auctioneer. On the art front, among glittering internationals – such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Banksy – will be found South Africa’s own Lionel Smit.

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