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Peter James Smith, Artist, Art, Sculpture, Painter, Painting, Gallery, Exhibition, Installation, Painting

Born in Paparoa in 1954, currently lives and works in Melbourne, Australia.


He is widely published as a mathematician and holds the degrees BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD with a Master of Fine Art in painting. He has held more than fifty solo shows and has work in both private and public collections in Australia, New Zealand and internationally. He recently retired from the dual roles of Professor of Mathematics and Art, and Head of the School of Creative Media at RMIT University, to paint and write full time. 

Smith's wide interests in science, culture and history coalesce into his distinctive landscape paintings and assemblages, scrawled with poetry, truncated notes, jottings and scientific diagrams. What is arresting about his landscapes in particular is his ability to marry his Romantic style of painting - historically a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature - with scientific vernacular itself, to create what TJ McNamara praises as "an outstanding personal style and achievement". 

Keith Stewart elaborates, "Smith paints with an enviable fluency in two abstract languages - mathematics and art - each carefully presented to perform a specific role in his Socratic argument. Both languages strive for elegance, but we are used to seeing them apart, so he uses vernacular painting to seduce. Then through his arcane scientific medium he delivers a sudden virtuosity of spirit."

- Keith Stewart, 'Life Science', Listener, 2 August 1997


Department of Mathematics, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland Hospital Board, Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Rothmans Cultural Foundation

RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Herald and Weekly Times, Melbourne, Australia

Eastern Energy, Melbourne, Australia 

La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

101 Collins Street, Melbourne, Australia 

National Australia Bank, Melbourne, Australia 

Massey University, Albany Campus, Auckland,
New Zealand

Wallace Trust Collection, Auckland, New Zealand 

The University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

The Suter Gallery – Te Aratoi o Whakatu, Nelson,
New Zealand

The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Australia

Victorian Racing Commission, Melbourne, Australia

BHP Billiton Collection, Melbourne, Australia

Gippsland Regional Gallery, Victoria, Australia

Victorian Racing Commission, Melbourne, Australia

Parliament House Collection, Canberra, Australia

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