The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to announce its first exhibition for 2010, Edward Lucie-Smith: 40 Photographs, which will open on Sunday, January 17, 2010 and remain on view until March 6. The exhibition consists of a selection of 40 of the 61 photographs recently donated to the National Gallery of Jamaica by Edward Lucie-Smith and serves to inaugurate this important donation to the Jamaican public. The 61 photographs were selected from Edward Lucie-Smith’s photographic archives and specially printed for the National Gallery. The framing of the 40 works in the inaugural exhibition was generously sponsored by Hi-Qo Gallery.
Edward Lucie-Smith was born in 1933 at Kingston, Jamaica. He moved to Britain in 1946, and was educated at King’s School, Canterbury and Merton College, Oxford, where he read History. Subsequently he was an Education Officer in the R.A.F., then worked in advertising for ten years before becoming a freelance author. He is now an internationally known art critic and historian, who is also a published poet, an anthologist and a practicing photographer. In recent years he has made frequent return visits to Jamaica.
Lucie-Smith has published more than a hundred books about art, chiefly but not exclusively about contemporary work. A number of these, among them Movements in Art since 1945, Visual Arts of the 20th Century, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Art Today are used as standard texts throughout the world. Two of his books are monographs about Jamaican artists – one on Albert Huie, the other on Judy Ann Macmillan. A new book about Angels, just published by Harper Collins, features the work of several Jamaican artists, among them Kapo and Edna Manley, mingled with the work of all-time greats such as Fra Angelico.
Edward Lucie-Smith’s photographs have been the subject of solo exhibitions in London, Brussels, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Rome, Bologna, Istanbul, Helsinki, Stockholm, Kuala Lumpur, St Petersburg, Ljubljana, Belgrade, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Skopje and Youngstown, Ohio. A book of his photographs, Flesh & Stone, was published by the French imprint Ipso Facto Publishers in 2000. His photographic work is included in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, London; the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; the New Orleans Museum of Art; the Butler Institute of Art, Youngstown, Ohio; the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel; the Frissiras Museum, Athens; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje; and the City Art Gallery, Helsinki.
Edward Lucie-Smith writes about the development of his photographic work: “As I took more and more photographs, I began to think of photography as a way of seeing. And this made me want to exhibit my work, as a way of communicating my attitudes about this. As a professional art critic, I already had a wide knowledge of works of art, spanning everything from the finds of archaeologists to the most recent contemporary developments. This inevitably had an impact on the way in which I saw things through the lens.” Dr. David Boxer, Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Jamaica, describes Lucie-Smith as essentially a “direct” photographer, in the tradition of Edward Weston. He indeed uses the camera “as a way of seeing,” without resorting to distortion or subsequent manipulation of the images, and achieves visual drama by means of close-ups, cropping or unusual vantage points. He takes images of the places, the landscapes, the architecture, the people and customs that visually excite him on his extensive travels around the world. Lucie-Smith has also created other bodies of work, based on “found” abstractions in the environment, and of abstractions created through the aggressive cropping of the natural human form and the forms of figurative sculptures – the “flesh” and the “stone” of the title of his published photography book.
The opening function of Edward Lucie-Smith: 40 Photographs on Sunday, January 17 will start at 11 am. The speakers will be Edward Lucie-Smith himself, who will be introduced by the noted Jamaican painter Judy Ann MacMillan, and David Boxer, who will introduce the works on view. The public is invited. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue publication, which will be available for sale in the National Gallery’s gift shop.