Ian Rayer Smith: An Ode to Painting

layering influences from art history, contemporary culture and the artist's own personal experience

Manchester-based artist, Ian Rayer-Smith, layers influences from art history, contemporary culture and his own personal experience to create his gestural and expressive paintings. Channeling the raw energy of the Post-War Abstract Expressionists while exploring a more classical sense of light, movement and composition reminiscent of the Renaissance painters, Rayer-Smith’s works are an ode to the painting medium, and its many iterations.

Despite a later start to his career - taking the leap from businessman to full time artist at the age of 36 - Rather-Smith’s commitment to his practice is unmatched. In constant search of something he hopes he never finds, the artist sees his work as an exploration of the purpose of painting itself. With some of his paintings completed within a single sitting, while others take up to a year to finish, it’s the process that matters most to the British-born artist. 

Rayer-Smith’s large painting studio in rural Manchester is richly decorated by his bold and vibrantly coloured compositions, often steeped in narrative. His huge portfolio of works, grouped by collection - the Monochrome Collection, The Abstracted Collection, The Misdemeanour Collection, et cetera - have garnered attention from prominent collectors, galleries, publications and won him numerous prizes across international borders.

Expressive in their brushwork and carrying the emotional weight of the artist embodied, Ian Rayer-Smith’s artworks are intended to pose a series of questions without pointing towards any clear kind of answer.

July 25, 2022