Blocking Passing – A new video and audio work by Terry Smith

Terry Smith has been invited to make an installation/intervention in the gallery space of Folkestone Museum, drawing upon his extensive and highly regarded history of making architectural interventions, which have included sculptural, drawing and performative approaches. Continuing his interest in exploring repetition and serial imagery (Cage, Nauman, and Reich) and using found images and sounds he has sourced in Folkestone, he plans to develop a work which traces its own construction, but is as informed by the space he finds himself in, as by the original concept. The final work will be the result of a dichotomy between his wish to allow the work to develop by chance and his contrarian inability to relinquish control.


Terry Smith represents a surprisingly uncommon strand in the practice of contemporary art in the UK. His practice, which has been developing over twenty-five years, has its roots in Anti-Form European and American conceptualism.  Although Smith studied at Goldsmiths and was working in London throughout the heyday of the YBAs, he was never seduced by the glamour and high profile achievements of his contemporaries preferring to pursue his investigations into the way in which the complexities of ideas, materials and the everyday can combine to make poetic statements that predate the fluidity of an art scene that has steered clear of any strong uniform trend. To paraphrase Gerhard Richter, he has “no medium, no style, no continuity and no intention to change.”  David Thorp.


Smith studied BA Fine Art at Goldsmiths School of Art in 1974-78.  In 1998 he was awarded The Henry Moore Fellowship at the Byam Shaw School of Art, the Sargent Fellowship in Rome in 1998/9, he was a research fellow at Field Institute, Hombroich Museum, Dusseldorf 2002, was Drawing Fellow at Wimbledon School of Art between 2008 and 2010, and has undertaken residencies at WASPS studio Glasgow in 2003 and Tromso, Norway in 2015.  In November 2008 he was the recipient of The Paul Hamlyn Artist Award. He lives and works in Folkestone.


In recent years he has created large-scale installations and site-specific interventions producing work often inaccessible to the public. In 1994 Smith began a series of building interventions by breaking into abandoned buildings and creating his first wall cuttings in houses ready to be demolished.   Other works that evolved from this period include Capital 1995 an intervention in Gallery 49 at the British Museum, which saw Smith cutting into the very fabric of the building. He was invited to make a series of secret interventions at Tate Modern during its reconstruction in 1996. In the same year at MACBA, Barcelona he made Broken Line, where he fired 35,000 staples in a block 1m wide and 25m long – into the walls of the museum.


Solo exhibitions include Marking Time at Cá Rezzonico, Venice, with Nuova Icona, Fault Line at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (1999), Strip at the Eagle Gallery, London (1997) Parallax at Hansard Gallery, Southampton University (2011) Moving Target at Los Galpones, Caracas (2012) and Document Lab Space, Drawing Center, New York (2013).


Group exhibitions include Intervenciones en el espacio. “Museo de Bellas Artes.” Caracas, Venezuela (1995). Mirades (sobre el Museu) Consorci Museu d’Art Contemporani. Barcelona (1996). Structurally Sound 1 at Carrillo Gil, Mexico City (2000) Specific Site, Stockholm (2001), Different Diverse Western Front, Vancouver, (2002); Video Works at the Fogg Museum, Boston (2003), Art and the Lived Experiments, Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool 2014, Between the Walls , Meetfactory, Prague, Culturelines San Frontiéres, Athens 2016, Art in Greenport NY 2017 and  Architecture as Metaphor, Griffin Gallery 2017.