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Arnolfini - est 1961

The retrospective exhibition of prints + multiples + related drawings by Richard Smith opens on 20 may. This exhibition has been arranged in collaboration with Richard Smith, who has designed the catalogue cover + invitation card, and it preceeds his forthcoming exhibition in the British Pavilion at the 1970 Venice Biennale. His work was also shown in the British Pavilion at the 1966 Venice Biennale with Bernard Cohen, Harold Cohen, Robyn Denny and Anthony Caro—works by all of whom have been shown by the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol.

A film about Richard Smith which he made with Alan King Associates for television will be shown continuously throughout the preview (on the upper floor) and again at 20 00 hrs on Wednesday 20 may. This film will also be shown at the Bristol Arts Centre on 16/17/18 may with the Japanese film Kuroneko (Arts Centre members and their guests—usual seat prices).
“… this general insight into mass communication processes also meant that Dick Smith was eager to avoid some of the cliches which many art movies tend to, and a consequence of this was to decide, as he says in the film, that filming his lifestyle wasn’t going to be very informative, if only because in the usual sense he didn’t have a coherent life-style based on a place and family etc. So there are no shots of the family lunch or the family house—he didn’t have one. His life tended to be nomadic and to take place between airports. Accordingly we have tried to get some of this placelessness into the film.”
The form of the film, an A to Z listing of preferences and preoccupations, simply came out of the way that Dick listed the things that he wanted to include. The “life wreckage” as he calls it, of radio programmes and commercials, packaging and consumer goodies, the innumerable affecting pressures that impinge on us, are gathered together into a cacophony of conflicting demands. These progressively clear away as the film proceeds until the paintings emerge from the morass of response and counter-response only to be inundated again and again by more interruptions and distractions. Denis Postle, producer/director.

The Arnolfini Gallery has arranged a subsequent tour for this exhibition and it will be shown at Dartington Hall, Devon 29 June- 25 July; Welsh Arts Council Gallery, Cardiff 19 September- 10 October; Museum of Modern Art, Oxford 3 – 29 november; Letchworth Museum+ Art Gallery 9 – 30 January 1971.