Lionel Smit was born in Pretoria, South-Africa in 1982 today he lives and works in Cape Town; known for his large canvasses and unique sculptures. Smit has been exhibiting locally and internationally for nearly 10 years. Smit has a significant international following, with collectors ranging from European Investment Bank, Laurence Graff from Delaire Wine Estate to the Rand Merchant Bank.
In 2009, Smit reached a pinnacle in his career when Christie’s Auction House, in London, used a photo of one of his paintings “African Girl” for the cover of an auction catalogue. Incidentally, this piece of work on the auction sold for three times the reserve price.
Smit’s father a sculptor, Anton Smit, played a pivotal role in Lionel’s life. His father’s studio was at home, and Smit was constantly surrounded by the creative process; sculpting from an unusually young age. It was only in 1996, whilst attending “Pro Arte school of Arts” in Pretoria that he showed an interest in painting. In 2000 after graduating as top student of painting, it was only a matter of time, before Smit would be known as having carved out his own artistic identity.
His works are part of numerous corporate and private collections. Smit has been hugely successful for the past 10 years in exhibitions in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Stellenbosch and internationally in London, Los Angeles and Ireland.
For Lionel Smit “painting is like an energy release and at that moment in time the work becomes alive – a paused action.”
Qualifications and awards: 2009 Merit Award, Vuleka, Sanlam Art Competition, Cape Town 2008 Achievement Award, Pro Arte School of Arts 2000 First prize in the MTN Art Colours Awards of Gauteng 1999/2000 Best painting student Pro Arte School of Arts
Selected exhibitions: (partial list)
2012 Art India, Bowman Gallery, India
2011 Surface, solo exhibition, Artspace, Johannesburg IS Sculpture,TOKARA,Stellenbosch 34FineArt, ArtMonaco ‘11, Monaco MOMAC, group exhibition, Roberta Moore Fine Art, England
2010 Out of the Office, group exhibition, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Germany Cynthia Reeves Projects, Art Miami, USA We are not Witches, Saatchi Gallery, London Submerge, solo exhibition, 34FineArt, Cape Town Who, group exhibition, Grande Provence, Franschhoek Coolstuff, group exhibition, 34FineArt, Cape Town
2009 F.A.C.E.T., Charity Auction, Christie’s, London
Selected Collections: (partial list) Standard Chartered Bank Laurence Graff Collection Rand Merchant Bank European Investment Bank Johannesburg City Council Saronsberg Wine Estate Grainvest Futures Barnstone Delaire Graff Wine Estate South African Embassy, Nigeria Parkdev Johann Jacobs Museum