Robin Smith

Robin is a painter who predominantly creates abstract, reimagined portraits of female figures. Working on canvas, paper and board, Robin combines acrylic, emulsion, and ink with soft pastels to build intense, richly coloured layers. He shifts between creating singular to multiple figure compositions, where subject and background blend through intuitive geometric and organic forms.

The portrait subjects originate from varied sources, from women Robin knows to others he has imagined or inspired to capture from brief encounters. The stylised, full-face portraits saturated with vivid colour are both individually fascinating and mesmerising as an assembled group.



Robin Smith has been a resident artist at ActionSpace’s studio at Studio Voltaire since 2014. Robin has exhibited in multiple group shows curated by ActionSpace including The Out There Art Fair for Cockpit Open Studios and Assembled Lines for Wandsworth Arts Fringe in 2019, as well as external exhibitions including Deviations at the House of Annetta in 2021, curated by artist Edmond Brooks-Beckman. During the pandemic, Robin developed an online painting partnership with artist Richard Phoenix who also paints reimagined figurative portraits. Robin and Richard met each week online for 18 months to paint alongside each other from their studios. This unique online exchange flattened any power dynamics as each was creatively influencing and supporting the other. Paintings developed by Robin and Richard and film clips from the online sessions were presented within an interactive online exhibition Zoomin on the Skelf digital platform. Robin and Richard further developed the concept of sharing their painting practices and bringing the process to life through Parallel, a live painting event and exhibition at Studio Voltaire in 2022.


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