Stefano

1996
Bronze
1580 x 410 x 700 cm
Edition of 1

For this project, Smith took St. Sigismondo, a Renaissance church in Cremona as his starting point. Keir made his first visit to Italy in 1989 and on a typically hot and dusty August afternoon came across this church. The light which poured in from the high rose window in the west of the chapel, had a significant impact on Smith and directly informed this sculpture. During the construction of this work Keir discovered that he was unfortunately seriously ill, which can be perceived in the solemn undertones and analogical representations present in the work. For instance the scattered stones inside the sculpture and next to it signify St. Stephen, the martyr who was stoned to death for blasphemy; often represented by a pile of stones. For Keir this work was a source of contemplation, distraction and refuge during a difficult existential time in his life. The formal composition of the sculpture represents a section through the church of St. Sigismondo with its wall's dissolved to reveal the cairn of golden stones and the distant landscape. Absorbing the landscape into the sculpture in relation to his interest in the functions and iconography of Italian liturgical imagery was a consistent theme in Smith’s earlier site–specific work.

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About The Artist

Keir Smith's practice presents a constant dialogue between sculpture and painting. During his career he oscillated between these mediums; using painting to develop, sketch and document his sculptural object based forms. Drawing was vital to Smith, serving his sculpture in an indirect way, as a method of investigating subject matter and developing ideas. In the early 1980s Smith began to start turning process into performance, creating a series of sculptures and installations documenting his interaction with the landscape, often presented as compositions or images on the ground. The sources for Smith’s mature work were based in the art, architecture and sculpture of the Italian Renaissance. Smith’s stone carvings and woodcarvings were spare and direct, with clean lines and pure surfaces.

‘Stefano’ is currently on display

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Keir Smith

Born: 1950