The first ever solo exhibition of the iconic 60s pop artist Larry Smart (1945-2006) including his iconic Hendrix and Lennon silkscreen prints launches to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love 1967-2017. Larry Smart RETRO-spective is the first ever solo exhibition of work by the iconic 60s artist. The exhibition of original paintings and prints is the first time that the artist’s work has been brought together under one roof – in Larry’s former Notting Hill neighbourhood.
The exhibition not only features Larry’s famous and widely recognised images of 60s pop icons but also landscapes and topiary images, as well as mandala paintings lit by an associated light show based on the original UFO Club performances. Following a global quest for missing Larry’s, the exhibition features works previously feared lost. London’s V&A Museum holds Larry Smart’s Jimi Hendrix poster in its permanent collection and used his ‘Kaleidoscope Eyes’ image to publicise its recent ‘Revolution: Records and Rebels 1966-1970’ exhibition. For the first time both portraits, as well as a third of Bob Dylan, will be available as limited edition screen-prints. Larry Smart RETRO-spective revives the spirit of the Summer of Love in Portobello and aims to celebrate the work and life of Larry Smart and his role in British pop art history.
Larry Smart spent some of his childhood in Baghdad In the 1960s – his father worked for Shell. In the 1960s his mandala paintings were very much of their time and George Harrison and John Lennon were collectors. The Baba Bel Poori restaurant in Porchester Road displayed mandalas which he exchanged for regular vegetarian Indian food. His poster art of Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and John Lennon have become collector’s items. He has held a number of solo exhibitions in England and his paintings are in private collections throughout the world. Commissions include a series of murals for former Beatle George Harrison and he has recently completed four paintings featuring British sporting themes for Sainsbury’s Sherry labels. In recent years he has been a regular exhibitor at the RONA Gallery in Mayfair, London. Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech Since the mid-1980s he regularly visited Morocco. In 1988 he hosted a Marrakech visit by myself and Jordan Reynolds where we visited the riads and mosques and other buildings that he so carefully captured in his art. He read Jean-Marc Castera’s book ‘Arabesques’ on the mathematics of pattern creation in Islamic art and applied this in his paintings with incredible patience and attention to detail. On a more commercial level, he would capture the essence of people’s homes and gardens in specially commissioned paintings. My involvement with him goes back to the 60s when he was a regular at our first restaurant. He created a number of paintings that were used for packaging illustration on Whole Earth products. Larry died in 2006. Larry’s paintings also adorned the record album sleeves of Delivery, a group that included Lol Coxhill and was fronted by the blues singer Carol Grimes (Larry’s wife at the time) These were the mandala paintings that are now all in private collections. Delivery played one of their first gigs at Seed Restaurant in 1969. Eventually, members defected to Gong and Carol Grimes went solo – Bio CRAIG SAMS
21 June – 2 July 2017 open daily 12-6pm free entry Private View: Thursday 22 June, 6.30-9pm Venue: The Muse Gallery 269 Portobello Road London W11 1LR