John Smith was born in London in 1952 and studied film at the Royal College of Art. After graduating in 1977 he became involved in the activities of the London Filmmakers’ Co-op. John Smith has developed a body of work that deftly subverts the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction.

Since 1972 John Smith has made over forty film, video and installation works and shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television throughout the world. His solo exhibitions include: Royal College of Art (London), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, UK), Kunstmuseum Magdeburg (Germany), Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool), Pearl Gallery (London), and Tanya Leighton Gallery (Berlin). Smith’s work has been featured in retrospectives at the 2007 Venice Biennale and film festivals in Oberhausen, Cork, Tampere, Uppsala, Bristol, Regensburg, Glasgow, La Rochelle and, most recently, in the 2010 Berlin Bienniale. John Smith lives and works in London, where he teaches part-time at the University of East London as Professor of Fine Art. He is represented by Tanya Leighton Gallery (Berlin).

Selected Press

On the Street where You Live: The Films of John Smith, Adrian Dakes, senses of cinema, November, 2003.
Interview with John Smith, Brian Frye, Millennium Film Journal, Winter 2003.
John Smith, Michael O’Pray, LUXOnline, 2003.


Life in Film: John Smith, Freize, October 2010.