Ian Rayer-Smith


In a world preoccupied with technology, there is something remarkable about painting. It connects us back to man’s earliest and most elemental forms of self-expression.

I am not interested in painting something that already exists. My pressing urge is to use paint to explore new forms that ultimately carry emotional weight. I try not to recreate an image. Instead, I may use it as a reference point to move from one painting to the next.

I am influenced by the Abstract Expressionists – for their emotional rawness and mark making, and the Renaissance – for composition, light, and movement. 

Onto these, I layer influences from contemporary culture and my own personal experience. I aim to instill a classical feel into my work while finding new visual paths, with the result hopefully being an exploration of the purpose of painting itself.

I think of my paintings as posing a series of questions rather than providing overt statements or narrative pointers towards any clear kind of answer. There would be no joy or satisfaction in doing that. Instead, the process is more about showing my search for something which, maybe, I hope I’ll never find. 


The Optimist

Formless Form

Works by a collection of artists
May 14 - June 25, 2022