Senior Dutch artist Robert Smit is perhaps best-known for reintroducing gold as an artistically respectable material in Dutch adornment, after it was radically rejected by his colleagues in the late 1960s and 1970s in favor of non-precious materials (aluminum, acrylic) and industrial forms, and then conceptual investigations about the body and society. Having rejected adornment himself in the 1970s, turning his attention to a decade-long monumental project called ‘Towards the liberation of drawing’, he challenged Dutch orthodoxy in the 1980s with painterly and geometric works, in which gold played a significant role: revealed, covered, colored, embedded into complex and joyful compositions. Square and Line is a recent example of Smit’s ongoing investigation of this precious and traditional material; a gold rectangle is stacked on top of geometric forms of different colors and materials, evoking twentieth century abstract art. In 2004, Smit received the Francoise van de Bosch prize, and the Munich Bayerischen Staatspreis in 1967 and 2010. His work is represented in public and private collections, including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the MFA Houston; and the National Gallery of Australia.
© aldo smit