Ahead of his first London solo show, we meet acclaimed Manchester artist Ian Rayer-Smith at his sun-filled Manchester studio where he has been working non-stop for the last year on a new series of large scale paintings.
“I’m at my most creative and prolific in the morning. My energy levels always tend to fizzle out by mid-day, except maybe when the show deadline is looming… as it is now! But I seem to be on schedule”
Running from 20 to 29 April at Zari Gallery in Fitzrovia, the show will feature brand new works that explore the very act of painting and the process of mark making, man's most basic form of expression for millennia.
Strongly influenced by the work of the abstract expressionists and the romantic light of the old masters, Rayer-Smith fuses abstraction, the figurative and the surreal, always avoiding any sense of repetition and constantly looking for something new and surprising.
"I like my paintings to carry an emotional charge. If it doesn’t move me in some way or other, it is scrapped” says Rayer-Smith. “And as I tend to work quite fast, wet on wet, with many layers, and often on several paintings at the same time, it can get quite messy sometimes in the studio!”
Music is very much present in the studio and seems to play an important role in Rayer-Smith’s creative process, with contemporary and modern classical always playing in the background when he is painting. “Max Richter, Olafur Arnolds, Nils Frahm and Johann Johannsen are firm favourites! I couldn’t work in silence. Music helps me bring colour, light and energy into my paintings.”
NEW PAINTINGS, a solo show by Ian Rayer-Smith from 20 to 29 April.
Zari Gallery, 73 Newman Street
London W1T 3EJ