(Pretoria 1982 -)
BiographySouth African artist Lionel Smit is best known for his contemporary portraiture executed through monumental canvases and sculptures. Perhaps more than anything else, his art is defined by a deeply-rooted symbiotic relationship between sculpture and painting. Each of Lionel Smit’s works offers us an entry point into the variety and richness that lies beneath every face we encounter in life.
Smit's work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London, where he received the Viewer’s Choice Award, as well as being selected as the 'face' of the BP Portrait Award 2013 for all campaigns. In recent years he has also been honoured with a Ministerial Award from the Department of Culture for Visual Art. A highlight of his career has been the publication of one of his paintings on the cover of Christie’s Auction Catalogue. In June 2016, Smit, in collaboration with Cynthia-Reeves Gallery, installed a public art installation, 'Morphous', in Union Square, New York.
Over the past 10 years he has established a substantial international following with collectors ranging from the Standard Chartered Bank to Laurence Graff Art Collection at Delaire Graff Wine Estate.