Richard Smith (1931-2016) was an English painter and printmaker. He produced work in a range of styles, but was often associated with colour field painting. Smith enjoyed huge commercial and critical success in the USA and Britain during the 60s and 70s. Early on, his art bridged the apparent gap between abstraction and pop art, the brilliance of his paintings revealing the inadequacy of such labels.
The son of a Hertfordshire printer, Smith studied at art school in Luton and St Albans – with 2 years in the RAF in Hong Kong separating each stint. Between 1954-57 he was at Royal College of Art, London, where Smith and his fellow students redefined contemporary British painting.
Smith was part of some of the most important exhibitions of his time including Place at the ICA and Painting and Sculpture of a Decade 54-64 at the Tate in 1964. He had museum shows in Europe, North and South America throughout the 1970s including a Tate retrospective in 1975. After that, his work was shown primarily at the galleries in New York and London that represented him.