Spanierman Modern Presents Clifford Smith Exhibition of Landscape and Seascape Paintings


Clifford Smith – “Grey Ocean Peaks II” at Spanierman Modern

Spanierman Modern is pleased to announce the January 29, 2009 opening of Clifford Smith. Consisting of twenty-four paintings, this exhibition features new landscapes and seascapes by Smith (b. 1951), a contemporary figurative artist who lives in New Hampshire.

Mostly rendered on a large scale, Smith’s images are steeped in hyper-reality. Beaming, ricocheting lights in a dark tunnel and a pollution-laden orange sunset are both familiar and surreal, engaging and alienating us at the same time. The artist’s gestural, painterly brushstroke reinforces this surreal quality as these sharp forms lose their definition and integrity at a closer distance.

Likewise, in the seascape paintings for which Smith is best known, we are pressed against the swirling motion of the sea, which spreads across the canvas with the varying density of its surface. Simultaneously, the illusion we believed in seems to fade from our grasp. This surreal theme allows Smith to express his belief in the artist’s freedom to probe such ambiguous experiences. Smith takes us from our assured sense of reality, in the photographic quality of nature, to an incomplete experience, in the impressionistic rendering of the natural world, shaking us from complacency.


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