Oil on board
1200 x 900mm
Michael Smither’s paintings of rocks and tidal pools are among his best-known and most popular works. Rock Pools is a fine early example, painted when Smither was living in Ngāmotu New Plymouth. The painting style is characteristic of Smither’s work of the late 1960s, a sort of ‘plasticine realism’. The style resonates with that favoured by Ian Scott and Richard Killeen about the same time, although the approaches of all three artists remained strongly distinct.
Rock Pools suggests a sincere enthusiasm for the natural environment on the part of Smither. It stands in contrast to more challenging paintings by the artist showing strange landforms, such as Hamilton Diggings, Central Otago, and members of his family in curious situations, such as Interior with Child.
InscriptionsM. D. SMITHER, '68 [l.r.]
Fletcher Trust Collection, purchased from Webb’s, Tāmaki Makaurau, 9 December 2003, lot 76