Eric Smith (artist)

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Eric Smith
Born Eric John Smith
1919
Melbourne, Australia
Nationality AustraliaAustralian
Known for Painting

Eric John Smith (born 1919) is an award-winning Australian artist. Smith has won many of Australia's major art prizes multiple times including the Archibald Prize for portraiture three times; the Wynne Prize twice; the Sulman Prize three times; and the Blake Prize for Religious Art six times.

Life and work[edit]

Eric Smith was born and raised in Brunswick, Melbourne.[1] At the age of 17 Smith undertook the study of Commercial Art and Painting at the Brunswick Technical School and joined the Victorian Artists Society. In 1940 Smith joined the Australian Army for the remainder of the Second World War. Upon the end of the war, Smith returned to Melbourne and pursued his artistic ambitions. In 1945, a self-portrait painted on an army canvas was runner-up for the Archibald Prize.[1] In 1956 Smith had his work shown in the Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, during the "Direction" exhibition. The success of this exhibition led to Smith's work being included in the 1963 exhibition of Australian art shown at the Tate Gallery in London. Whilst in London in 1963, Smith gained further international recognition after winning the Helena Rubenstein Art Award. In 1970 Smith won the Archibald again for his portrait of Sydney architect Neville Gruzman.

Smith's 3rd winning 1981 portraiture of the Archibald Prize caused a controversy amongst the art world. In 1975 John Bloomfield winning entry was disqualified due to his portraiture of Tim Burstall being painted from a photograph. It is a condition of entry that all portraits be painted from life rather than interpretations of photographs.[2] Bloomfield asserted that Smith's portraiture of Rudy Komon resembled a photograph taken of the subject in 1974 and hence in breach of the competitions requirements. Bloomfield threatened legal action to prevent the prize being awarded to Smith. The controversy subsided when gallery director /art dealer Komon[3] came to the defense of Smith and said he had sat for Smith many times over the previous twenty-one years.[2]

Awards[edit]

  • 1944 Australia at War, War on Land Prize
  • 1948 Catholic Centenary Art Prize
  • 1948 CRTS Shell Company Prize
  • 1948 CRTS Norman Bros Prize
  • 1950 Victorian Artists’ Society, ‘60 Drawings’ Herald Prize
  • 1953 Berrima Art Prize (Mural)
  • 1955 Contemporary Art Society
  • 1955 Contemporary Art Society, Madach Prize
  • 1955 Adelaide Advertiser Prize
  • 1956 Bathurst Art Prize
  • 1960 Journalists’ Club Prize
  • 1962 Royal Art Society of New South Wales Easter Show Prize
  • 1963 Helena Rubenstein Art Award
  • 1965 Roy H. Taffs Contemporary Art Society Award
  • 1967 Darcy Morris Memorial Prize
  • 1969 Royal Art Society of New South Wales, Portrait Prize
  • 1975 Muswellbrook Art Prize
Awards
Preceded by
Charles Doutney
Sulman Prize
1953
for Convicts Berrima 1839,
Mural at Old Court House, Berrima
Succeeded by
Wallace Thornton
Preceded by
Donald Friend
Blake Prize for Religious Art
1956
for The Scourged Christ
Succeeded by
Elwynn Lynn
Preceded by
Elwynn Lynn
Blake Prize for Religious Art
1958
for The Moment Christ Died
1959
for Christ is Risen
Succeeded by
John Coburn
Preceded by
Stanislaus Rapotec
Blake Prize for Religious Art
1962
for Eucharistic Landscape
Succeeded by
Leonard French
Preceded by
Roger Kemp
Blake Prize for Religious Art
1969
for The Apostles Creed
1970
Co-winner with Roger Kemp
for Christ's Flesh: Living, Suffering and Resurrected
Succeeded by
Desiderius Orban
Preceded by
Ray Crooke
Archibald Prize
1970
for Gruzman—Architect
Succeeded by
Clifton Pugh
Preceded by
Margaret Woodward
Wynne Prize
1972
for Falling Bark
Succeeded by
Clem Millwood
Preceded by
Peter Powditch
Sulman Prize
1973
for The Painter Transmogrified and Mrs. Smith
Succeeded by
Keith Looby
Preceded by
Clem Millwood
Wynne Prize
1974
for Redfern Landscape
Succeeded by
Robert Juniper
Preceded by
Not awarded
(Wes Walters, 1979)
Archibald Prize
1981
for Rudy Komon
1982
for Peter Sculthorpe
Succeeded by
Nigel Thomson
Preceded by
Guan Wei
Sulman Prize
2003
for Reflection
Succeeded by
Allan Mitelman

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Biography". Eric Smith, Australian Artist. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  2. ^ a b "History: Chronology of events 1900 - 2007". Art Gallery NSW - Archibald Prize 08. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Rudy Komon - Photography". National Portrait Gallery, Canberra. Archived from the original on 2008-07-29. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 

References[edit]