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Martin Smith, 2 Corners Shifted, 2013, Limited Edition Plate


10 3/4" porcelain plate with inglaze decals.  Produced in an edition of 25.

2 Corners Shifted is part of a body of work in which Martin Smith uses plates to sample and present information from large digital drawings.  The optically stunning image on this plate is a sample of the center of a digital drawing that Smith made in Adobe Illustrator and that was the source for the graphics on a larger, multiple plate installation called 2 Corners Doubled (2013). With a nod to Sol Lewitt, Smith created the digital drawing by establishing a large rectangle in Illustrator and, beginning at the rectangle’s top left corner, he drew circular arcs at 5 mm intervals. In a second illustrator layer this series of arcs was stretched by 5% and superimposed on the first.  The resultant lines begin perfectly superimposed, one on the other, but drive out of phase before coming back into alignment, much like the elements of a minimalist musical composition.  This process was repeated from the bottom right corner, resulting in a further interference.  For 2 Corners Doubled Smith sampled 18 circles from this drawing and applied them to 18 plates, which were then arranged as two rows of 5, one positioned above the other, each with a second offset row of 4 behind. 2 Corners Shifted samples the center of this drawing, much of which does not appear in 2 Corners Doubled.

Capitalizing on recent technical advances in digitally produced decals, Smith has applied the imagery on 2 Corners Shifted using in-glaze color. These decals are fired to a higher temperature, allowing the color to sink into the glaze, rather than sit on the surface, as with on-glaze color. Smith's exhaustive research determined the correct interplay of firing temperature, weight of line and CMYK balance to achieve this result.

Martin Smith’s practice consists of an on-going project investigating the formal language of the vessel and the way that it can both contain a space and define a place. He makes reference to elements of architectural language and makes use of the poetic qualities of mathematics, including geometry. Investigations into both material and process underpin his research. He exhibits regularly in international galleries and museums and has extended the investigation beyond the autonomous ceramic object to multi-part series, wall installations, furniture and exhibition design.

A key figure in British ceramics, he studied at Bristol Polytechnic. Examples of his work are held in numerous public collections world-wide including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the National Museums of Modern Art, Tokyo and Kyoto; Los Angeles County Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Museum Boijman's van Beunigen, Rotterdam. He is Professor of Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art, London.

Read Martin Smith's own statement about his work at CFile

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