Richard Smith standing in font of the 'Field and streams' series, Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, New York, 1981
Gift of Kenneth Tyler 2002
Photographer: Kenneth Tyler

Richard Smith was born in Hertfordshire, England, in 1931. He trained at Luton School of Art, the St Albans School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London, before receiving a scholarship to live and work in New York. Smith arrived in New York in 1959 and, aside from a two-year teaching tenure at St Martin’s School of Art in London, has since made the United States his base. Though he has been aligned with Minimalism, Pop Art and the Situationist Group, Smith’s work is essentially characterised by his investigations into the fundamental nature of colour and form.

His Field and streams series, in which shapes of various colours are presented entangled against pure white paper, demonstrates this preoccupation. The series was created at Tyler Graphics in 1982.
Emilie Owens


Born in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Attends Luton School of Art, Luton

Serves in Royal Air Force, Hong Kong

Attends St. Albans School of Art, Hertfordshire

Attends Royal College of Art, London

Included in exhibition, New trends in British art, New York Art Foundation, Rome, Italy

Teaches at St. Martin’s School of Art, London

First solo exhibition, Green Gallery, New York

Included in travelling exhibition, British art today, originating at San Francisco Museum of Art, California

Included in travelling exhibition, London: the new scene, originating at Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Included in Venice biennale, Italy, and receives the Mr and Mrs Robert C Scull Award; solo exhibitions at Whitechapel Gallery, London; Richard Feigen Gallery, New York; Jewish Museum, New York; included in travelling exhibition, Aspects of British art, originating at Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand

Included in São Paulo Bienal, Brazil, and receives Grand Prize

Included in Venice biennale, Italy

Receives first prize at British international print biennial, Bradford Galleries and Museums, Bradford, England

Travelling solo exhibition, Richard Smith, recent work 1972-1977: paintings, drawings and graphics, Hayden Gallery, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Moves to New York

Solo exhibition, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Completes Cartouche Series of wall hangings at Tyler Graphics Ltd, Bedford Village, New York

Completes Field and Streams Series of mixed media prints at Tyler Graphics Ltd

Included in exhibition, Prints from Tyler Graphics, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Included in travelling exhibition, Pop Art: 1955-1970, organised by the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and shown at Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Included in exhibition, Forty Years of Modern Art, 1945-1985, Tate Gallery, London

Included in travelling exhibition, British Art in the 20th century, originating at Royal Academy of Art, London

Included in travelling exhibition, Pop Art, originating at Royal Academy of Art, London

Included in exhibition, The sixties art scene in London, Barbican Art Gallery, London

Included in exhibition, Art from the ‘60s – this was tomorrow, Tate Britain, London

Included in the exhibition, Stroll on! Aspects of British abstract art in the sixties, Musée d’Art Modern et Contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva, Switzerland

Included in exhibition, Paintings from the noughties, at Letterkenny Arts Centre, Donnegal, Ireland

Included in exhibition, Summer exhibition, at Royal Academy of Arts, London, England

Solo exhibition, Richard Smith at 80, at Flowers Gallery, London, England

Solo exhibition, Richard Smith, at Flowers Gallery, New York City

Richard Smith currently lives and works in Long Island, New York

© Tyler Graphics Ltd; revised Emilie Owens, 2007; revised Julia Greenstreet, 2013

This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime.

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated January 2017