The Crossover

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30. Sam Smyth

Ares Vallis

Estimate: £650 - 1,000

The Crossover - Lot 30, Sam Smyth, Ares Vallis

Signed and dated (on the reverse)
Acrylic and airbrush on linen
101 x 101 cm.
Painted in August 2019

Ares Vallis is the name of an 'outflow channel' on the surface of Mars, named after the Greek god of war Ares. The channel, one of the largest of its kind, was carved out by a Martian river at a time when large bodies of water covered the surface of the planet.

Sam Smyth is a UK-based artist best known for his hard-edged geometric paintings and collages. Drawing on the ideas of minimalist and post-painterly abstract painting from the 60s and 70s, Sam’s work leans towards being formally reductive but with a strong focus on colour interaction, with a vibrant palette. 

The different grades of colour intensity seen in this painting are deliberately reminiscent of the Japanese wood block printing tradition, ukiyo-e. To highlight this, Sam has used a specially formulated super-pigmented black paint to create an intense contrast. 

Working in series, Sam employs formal organising principles to his work; often pursuing a geometric framework across several works. This can be seen in his square compositions and also in various works in 2 x 3 and 3 x 4 format. Sam paints using acrylics, layering paint for maximum colour purity and masking areas to create hard edges between colours.


Sam Smyth's work was featured in The Auction Collective's Summer Auction. He graduated from Arts University Bournemouth and was an 'Artworks Open Prize' 2018 finalist. His work can be found in private collections throughout the U.S.A. and U.K.

The Crossover - Lot 30, Sam Smyth, Ares Vallis

12 Oct Oct 12

Candid Arts, 3 Torrens St, London EC1V 1NQ