Gemma Smith

Gemma Smith

Gemma Smith (b.1978) lives and works in Sydney, Australia. She completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts, Painting Studio at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Sydney in 1999 and a Bachelor Visual Arts, Honours at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane in 2004.

Smith’s practice to date includes painting, sculpture and collage, and can be read as a nexus of these varied processes Painting, however, remains her primary focus. Always abstract, Smith’s paintings identify their own materiality and processing. Shifting between structural and free, small and large scale, her paintings present complex spatial environments as as supremely flat surfaces, worked and reworked with sophisticated and varied brushwork. Colour continues to be both subject and content in her luminous paintings; she interrogates its perception, plays with its chromatic rules, and wrestles with its capacity for both bossiness and ambivalence. Complex colour orchestrations are what Smith constantly refines within her work, creating paintings that are indelible at both the boldest and most subtle ends of the spectrum.

Smith's work is held in many private, state and national collections including The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery /Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane and the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide. In 2012, Smith completed a spectacular 16 x 16m ceiling painting as a major commission for the new Supreme Court Building in Brisbane. In 2019, she was commissioned to produce a large wall mural in the entrance to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. In 2019, UNSW Galleries held a major retrospective of Smith’s work. Notable recent group exhibitions include Superposition of Three Types, Artspace, Sydney; and Painting. More Painting, ACCA, Melbourne. In 2017, Formist publications produced a monograph on Gemma Smith titled Found Ground.

Selected works


    Gemma Smith

    Cusp 2019


    Gemma Smith

    Time 2019


    Gemma Smith

    Margin 2019


    Gemma Smith

    Rotate 2019


    Gemma Smith

    Skew 2017

    The Black and Gold (Grey/Yellow)

    Gemma Smith

    The Black and Gold (Grey/Yellow) 2013


  • Ticks and tones

    Gemma Smith

    Ticks and tones

    20 November - December 18, 2021

  • Almost


    Maria CruzJulie FragarMatthys GerberChristopher HanrahanLucina LaneTodd McMillanSarah MoscaJonny NiescheJohn NixonJan van der PloegElizabeth PulieKoji RyuiGemma SmithNicola SmithJelena TeleckiBrendan Van HekOliver Wagner

    10 September - October 9, 2021



    John ArmlederSimon BarneyMaria CruzJulie FragarSarah MoscaOlivier MossetJonny NiescheGemma SmithJelena TeleckiOliver WagnerBrendan Van HekJan van der Ploeg

    25 November - December 19, 2020



    Maria CruzAnthony JohnsonLucina LaneTodd McMillanSarah MoscaJonny NiescheHuseyin SamiTony SchwensenGemma SmithNicola SmithJelena TeleckiBrendan Van Hek

    21 May - June 20, 2020

  • Noon

    Gemma Smith


    7 March - May 16, 2020



    Julie FragarDavid HainesLucina LaneTodd McMillanElizabeth PulieHuseyin SamiKoji RyuiGemma SmithTony SchwensenJelena TeleckiBrendan Van HekJustene Williams

    1 - February 29, 2020

  • Sydney Contemporary

    Sydney Contemporary

    Gemma SmithJonny NiescheOliver WagnerMaria CruzHuseyin SamiLucina LaneAnthony JohnsonTodd McMillan

    12 - September 15, 2019

  • Silver Jubilee

    Silver Jubilee

    Julie FragarMatthys GerberTodd McMillanChristopher HanrahanSarah MoscaJonny NiescheJohn NixonElizabeth PulieKoji RyuiHuseyin SamiTony SchwensenGemma SmithJohn SpiteriBrendan Van Hek

    2 May - June 15, 2019

  • Group Show 39

    Group Show 39

    Julie FragarChristopher HanrahanTodd McMillanSarah MoscaJohn NixonKoji RyuiGemma Smith

    18 January - February 19, 2019

  • Goldens

    Gemma Smith


    6 October - November 3, 2018

  • Sydney Contemporary 2018

    Sydney Contemporary 2018

    Gemma SmithJonny NiescheTodd McMillanOliver WagnerHuseyin SamiJohn NixonMaria CruzDavid HainesChristopher Hanrahan

    13 - September 16, 2018

  • Sydney Contemporary

    Sydney Contemporary

    Esther StewartJonny NiescheJamie NorthGemma SmithKoji Ryui

    6 - September 10, 2017

  • Radiant greige

    Gemma Smith

    Radiant greige

    31 August - October 7, 2017

  • little league

    little league

    Matt HinkleyJohn NixonJulie FragarJonny NiescheJohn SpiteriJohn NicholsonKoji RyuiMaria CruzGemma SmithHuseyin SamiTodd McMillanJan van der Ploeg

    19 January - February 4, 2017

  • Spring 1883

    Spring 1883

    Gemma SmithBrendan Van HekSarah MoscaJoyce HinterdingJonny NiescheMatthys GerberEsther StewartChristopher HanrahanNicola Smith

    17 - August 21, 2016

  • Another Green World

    Another Green World

    Jamie NorthGemma SmithAndreas Reiter RaabeSandra SeligSarah MoscaMatthys GerberJack Lanagan DunbarJonny NiescheOlivier MossetMaria CruzKoji RyuiJulie FragarBrendan Van Hek

    4 August - September 3, 2016

  • Adjacent Possible

    Gemma Smith

    Adjacent Possible

    19 November - December 19, 2015

  • Spring 1883

    Spring 1883

    Gemma SmithBrendan Van HekEsther StewartJulie FragarHuseyin SamiJonathan ZawadaElizabeth PulieKoji RyuiMatthys GerberNicola SmithJohn NicholsonTodd McMillanJustin TrendallAndreas Reiter Raabe & Franz West

    10 - September 12, 2015

  • Everything & Nothing

    Everything & Nothing

    Sarah MoscaMikala DwyerJohn NixonGemma SmithJoyce HinterdingChristopher HanrahanMatt HinkleyKoji RyuiDavid HainesTim BrunigesSandra Selig

    26 June - July 25, 2015

  • PA Paintings

    Gemma Smith

    PA Paintings

    4 - December 20, 2014

  • 20 200

    20 200

    Hany ArmaniousMatthys GerberJohn NixonMikala DwyerMaria CruzAnne-Marie MayA.D.S. Donaldson & Andreas ExnerSylvie FleuryKerrie PolinessJohn ArmlederOlivier MossetAndreas Reiter RaabeGail HastingsTony SchwensenPaul SaintGerold MillerDiena GeorgettiMelinda HarperRuark LewisJohn SpiteriJan van der PloegJulia GormanJames LynchDavid GriggsElizabeth NewmanRobert PulieSimon BarneyPeter WüthrichTim SilverMary TeagueHuseyin SamiRachel ScottOscar YanezElizabeth PulieStephen BramRose NolanKoji RyuiGemma SmithSimon DennyMatt HinkleyJohn NicholsonChristopher HanrahanJulie FragarJustin TrendallMoya McKennaRon AdamsSandra SeligJamie NorthTodd McMillanJonathan ZawadaJustene Williams

    13 March - April 17, 2014

  • Summer


    Jamie NorthMoya McKennaMaria CruzJohn NixonChristopher HanrahanTodd McMillanMatthys GerberKoji RyuiJustin TrendallGemma SmithHuseyin SamiJonathan Zawada

    21 January - February 1, 2014

  • Group Show 26

    Group Show 26

    Gemma SmithTodd McMillanJohn NixonJulie FragarAndreas Reiter RaabeJohn NicholsonMatt Hinkley

    12 September - October 5, 2013

  • Gemma Smith

    Gemma Smith

    1 - March 28, 2013

  • Masculin Feminin

    Masculin Feminin

    Sandra SeligJulie FragarMaria CruzGemma SmithMoya McKennaElizabeth PulieJustene WilliamsDiena Georgetti

    24 February - March 17, 2012

  • Tangle Paintings

    Gemma Smith

    Tangle Paintings

    5 August - September 3, 2011

  • Melbourne Art Fair

    Gemma Smith

    Melbourne Art Fair

    4 - August 8, 2010

  • Sudden Double

    Gemma Smith

    Sudden Double

    5 March - April 1, 2010

  • Dynamo Hum

    Dynamo Hum

    Christopher HanrahanKoji RyuiJulie FragarJustin TrendallGemma SmithHuseyin Sami

    26 June - July 25, 2009

  • Gemma Smith

    Gemma Smith

    24 October - November 15, 2008

  • New Moon

    New Moon

    Julie FragarChristopher HanrahanMatt HinkleyElizabeth PulieHuseyin SamiJohn SpiteriGemma SmithJustin TrendallJonathan Zawada

    7 March - April 12, 2008

  • Lion


    Paul BaiSimon DennyMatt Fearns Marco FusinatoJulia GormanMatt HinkleyRyan MooreJohn NicholsonRobert PulieKoji RyuiHuseyin SamiGemma SmithJustin TrendallJan van der Ploeg

    25 May - June 30, 2007

  • Gemma Smith

    Gemma Smith

    24 November - December 23, 2006

  • we're open

    we're open

    Simon BarneyStephen BramMarco FusinatoMatthys GerberKatharina GrosseReuben KeehanJohn NixonRose NolanElizabeth PulieAndreas Reiter RaabeKoji RyuiGemma SmithJohn Spiteri

    6 - September 30, 2006