Irish Arts Review – Autumn 2015

The Art of Synthesis

talks to John Noel Smith

B McA: There is a sense in which you are an abstracting artist as opposed to an abstract one in that figuration (motifs) is never far away and the real world (the seasons, the landscape or seascape) often lurks in plain sight. How do you view this arena?

JNS: I see myself as a hardcore abstractionist. My interest is not in painting a simulacrum of the visible world. Rather I see painting as acting like a metaphor for the real world. In my present work I am not abstracting from this real world. My Knot paintings, which I think you are referring to, resulted from the liberating act of drawing directly on the wet canvas. I wanted to explore and develop the linear in my paintings. I saw this as painting from a rigorous non-objective discipline: it was pure line.

McAvera, Brian
The Art of Synthesis.
Irish Arts Review, Vol.32, issue 3. Autumn 2015.
Pages 382-389.