John Firth-Smith


1943 Melbourne, VIC, Australia
1987-1996  Trustee, Art Gallery of New South Wales


1961 National Art School, Sydney
1983 Artist in Residence, Melbourne University
1991 Tutor, International Art Workshop, Omaru, New Zealand

Solo Exhibitions

2017  Rural Rust King Street Gallery, Sydney
2012  Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2009  Paintings and Ceramics, John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne
 Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2007 Selected Works, John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne
2006 The New York Works, A Survey, Embassy of Australia, Washington DC
2005 Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2003 Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2002 Lister Calder Gallery, Western Australia
Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne
2001 Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
1999 A Voyage that Never Ends (book launch and exhibition), Roslyn OxIey9 Gallery, Sydney
1998 Roslyn OxIey9 Gallery, Sydney
1996 Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
1994 Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
1993 Roslyn OxIey9 Gallery, Sydney
1992 Work on Paper: 1982-1992, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
1990 Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
New Lithographs, Australian Galleries, Melbourne
1988 Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
1987 Gallery 52, Perth
In and On (lithographs), Blaxland Gallery, Sydney
1986 Powell St Gallery, Melbourne
1984 Inspiration and Reality, University of Melbourne
1983 Gallery 52, Perth, Western Australia
Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane
Bottle and Boat (lithographs), Roslyn OxIey9 Gallery, Sydney
1982 Works from New York, Axion Gallery, Melbourne
Works from New York, Gallery A, Sydney
1981 Gallery A, Sydney
Bonython Art Gallery, Adelaide
1979 Gallery A, Sydney
Powell Street Gallery, Melbourne
1978 Bonython Art Gallery, Adelaide
1977 Gallery A, Sydney
Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane
1976 Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane
1975 Realities Gallery, Melbourne
1973 Gallery A, Sydney
1972 Gallery A, Sydney
1970 Gallery A, Sydney
1969 Gallery A, Sydney and Melbourne
1966 Gallery A, Sydney and Melbourne

Group Exhibition

2017 Hill End Table, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, NSW
Artist Profile: Australasian Painters Orange Regional Gallery, NSW
2015 Opening Exhibition, Nicholas Thompson Gallery, Melbourne
2007 Harbourlife, Manly Art Gallery & Museum
2006 Stolen Ritual, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2005 Fireworks, Mackay Artspace touring exhibition, NSW, QLD and VIC galleries
Landscape Now, Solander Gallery, Canberra
Hill End Scenes, People or Objects, Inaugural Exhibition, NPWS Gallery, Hill End
2004 Spectrum 2004, FONAS, National Art School, Sydney
2003 The Year in Art, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
Australian Masters, Solander Gallery, Canberra
Beneath the Monsoon, Touring Regional Galleries, Queensland
2002 Fifty Years of Abstraction, Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne
Points of View, University of Technology Sydney Art Collection, UTS, Sydney
The First 20 Years, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2001 MCA Unpacked, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
1999 Silver, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
Fabric of Labour, BulIe Gallery, Melbourne
Three Generations, Solander Gallery, Canberra
1998 Escape Artists: Modernists in the Tropics, Cairns Regional Gallery & travelling QLD, NSW, VIC
Axia Modern Art Opening Exhibition, Melbourne
Australian Printmaking in the 1990’s: Artist printmakers 1990-95, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
1997 Swingtime Eastcoast – Westcoast: Works from the I960s-70s, University of WA
1995 The Artists of Hill End, Art Gallery of New South Wales & travelling New South Wales
Asia and Oceania Influence, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Kuala Lumpur
Selection of Australian Works, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
1994 Modern Australian Paintings, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne
1992 Australian Masters, Solander Gallery, Canberra Works on Paper, R.M.I.T., Melbourne
Synthesis 6: Art & Architecture (with Lawrence Neild), Sydney 1988
Australian Masters, Solander Gallery, Canberra
1987 Surface for Reflection, Art Gallery of New South Wales & travelling NSW
Australian Painters & Sculptors, Saitama, Japan Museum of Contemporary Art, Brisbane
1986 A Resistant Spirit, Roslyn OxIey9 Gallery, Sydney & Realities Gallery, Melbourne
1984 New Work, Powell Street Gallery
1983 Abstract Art in Australia, R.M.I.T. Gallery, Melbourne
Five Sydney Painters, The Wrong Place, University of Tasmania Art Gallery, Hobart
Twelve Australian Painters, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Perspecta `83, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Commonwealth Bank Contemporary Artists Exhibition, Sydney
Prix de Monaco Exhibition, Monte Carlo
1982 Sydney Harbour Bridge 1932-1982, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York – with Lesley Dumbrell Invited
Structures, Newcastle Region Art Gallery
Invited Inaugural Singleton Art Prize, Anzas 82, Macquarie University, NSW
Darwin Art Gallery, works executed at Artists Camp, Kakadu National Park Northern Territory
1981 LIS `81, International Exhibition of Drawings, Lisbon Portugal, Survey 16 National Gallery of VIC
Survey of the Seventies, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria
1980 Summer Exhibition, Gallery A, Sydney
1979 LIS `79, International Exhibition of Drawings, Lisbon & Opporto, Portugal
1978 Contemporary Australian Art to Indonesia – Landscape and Image
Water Works, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney
1977 Group Show, Gallery A, Sydney
Australian Colourists `77′, Western Australian Institute of Technology, Perth
1976 Included Artists Films, touring Europe and USA
1975 Joint exhibition with Tony Tuckson, Monash University, Melbourne
Ten Australians, Gallery A, Sydney
The Ocean, Expo `75, Okinawa, Japan
1974 Included, Artists Films, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Return to Sender Exhibition, Florence, Italy
1973 Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, New Zealand The Biennale of Sydney’ Opera House
1972 Included in Twenty Years of Australian Painting, London, UK Group
1970 Invited First Leasing Prize, Melbourne
Invited Georges Prize, Melbourne
1969 Japanese Forum Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan
1968 Group 2, Gallery A, Sydney and Melbourne
1967 New Generation Sydney, Gallery A, Melbourne
1966 Invited Helena Rubenstein Travelling Scholarship, Survey 6, Blaxland Gallery, Sydney
Australian Young Contemporaries’ exhibition, Perth
1965 Survey 5, Blaxland Gallery, Sydney
1964 Survey 4, Blaxland Gallery, Sydney
1963 Joint Exhibition with Ian Van Wieringen, Hungry Horse Gallery, Sydney
1962 Joint exhibition with Ian Van Wieringen, Clune Galleries, Sydney


1978 Sydney Morning Herald Art Prize Civic Permanent Art Award, Canberra, Broken Hill Art Prize
1977 Bathurst Art Prize Dalby Art Prize Capital Permanent Award, Geelong Art Gallery
1975 McCaughey Memorial Prize, Melbourne
1974 Townsville Art Prize (Purchase)
1972 Grafton Art Prize (Purchase) Georges Art Prize (Purchase)
1968 Young Contemporaries Royal Easter Show – Modern
1964 Young Contemporaries `B’ Section Mirror-Waratah Under 22 Years Contemporary
1963 Young Contemporaries `B’ Section
1962 Mirror-Waratah Under 22 Years Contemporary



ALCOA Pty Ltd, USA Grafton City Council, New South Wales
ANZ Bank, Commission, Melbourne McGregor Collection, Toowoomba, Queensland
Art Gallery of New South Wales Mildura Arts Centre, Victoria
Art Gallery of South Australia Monash University Collection, Melbourne
Art Gallery of Western Australia National Bank of Australia
Australian National Gallery, Canberra National Gallery of Victoria
 Collection, Australia Newcastle Region Art Gallery
BHP Collection, Melbourne Philip Morris Collection, Melbourne
Bathurst Art Gallery, New South Wales Power Gallery, University of Sydney
Broken Hill City Art Gallery, New South Wales Private Collections in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Europe and Asia
C.B.A. Bank, Sydney Qantas Airways Collection, Sydney
Commonwealth Loan Collection Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Curtin University Collection, Perth  Shepparton Art Gallery, Victoria
Curtin University Collection, Perth  Sydney Morning Herald Collection
Dalby Art Gallery, Queensland Tarrawarra Museum of Art, Victoria
Geelong Art Gallery, Victoria TownsvilIe City Gallery, Queensland
Georges Limited, Melbourne University of Melbourne Collection
Australia Council
, Visual Arts Board University of Western Australia
Windsor Council, New South Wales


2000 Macquarie Apartments, Sydney, designed by Renzo Piano, painting
1998 Deutsche Bank, Australia Square, Sydney, painting
1997 Landmark Hotel, Kings Cross, Sydney, painting
1993 Governor Phillip Tower, Sydney, designed by Denton Corker Marshall, commissioned by DCM
1992 ANA Hotel foyer, Sydney
1988 State Bank, Sydney, painting
1987 New Parliament House Tapestry design, Canberra
Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney, painting
Hyatt Hotel Adelaide, painting
Monash Hospital Art Foundation, painting
1981 Mural, 6 x 6 m, commissioned by l.M. Pei for ANZ Bank Head Office, Collins
Gallery A, executed by Victorian Tapestry Workshop
1980 National Capital Permanent Development Commission for Family Law Courts, Canberra

Film by Artist

1973 From Here to There 16mm, Black & White

Films on Artist

1980 The Big Painter Film about ANZ Bank Commission, Melbourne, 30 mins
Ten Australians (John Firth-Smith), Film by ABC Produced by Dale McRae, 30 mins
1975 Target  A.B.C., John Firth-Smith, 20 mins


2017 Pugh, Judith ‘John Firth Smith’ Artist Profile Magazine issue 38, p. 60-69
Johnson, Anna catalogue essay Rural Rust, Sydney
Pope, Danielle, ‘Rural Rust’ MiNDFOOD
2006 McDonald, John, Catalogue introduction for Nevill Keating Contemporary Exhibition, London
Angel, Anita, John Firth-Smith: from here to there, Press 8 Surry Hills
2005 Creagh, Sunanda, Open Gallery: John Firth-Smith, Sydney Morning Herald, July 30-31, p. 29
McDonald, John, Opposites Impact, Sydney Morning Herald, July 9-10, p. 28 – 29
Rowell, Amanda, John Firth-Smith: Expanded Horizon, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2003 Roberts, Jacki, World renowned artists on show at new Hill End Gallery
Hooton, Amanda, Two of Us: John Firth-Smith and Danelle Bergstrom, Good Weekend, Aug 2
Kos-Noskovic, Mirjana, Maritime Painting & Meaning in the Abstract Work of John Firth-Smith
2002 Points of View (exh. cat.), University of Technology Sydney Art Collection, UTS, p. 52, 53
Gray, Anna, Australian Art in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
2001 Mason, Clara, Introduction, Seawrack & Seaspawn: Script & Contextualisation for Bloomsday
Pearce, Barry, et al., Australian Art in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of NSW
2000 Australian Painting Now eds. Laura Murray Cree and Nevill Drury, Craftsman House, Sydney
1999 Wilson, Gavin, John Firth-Smith: A Voyage that Never Ends, Fine Arts Press, Sydney
Wilson, Gavin, Escape Artists: Modernists in the Tropics (exh. cat.), Cairns Regional Gallery
Hawley, Janet, Water world, Good Weekend, December 18
Frost, Andrew, Australia’s 50 Most Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector, Issue 7, p 35
1998 McDonald, John, Painting dead? The picture’s not so bleak, Sydney Morning Herald, July 18
1997 Grishin, Sasha, Australian Printmaking in the 1990’s, Craftsman House
Firth-Smith, John, A pitch black sea for me, The Sydney Morning Herald, January 20
1996 John McDonald, Becoming what one is, Sydney Morning Herald, p 12, October 26
Turner, Brook, Sea Change, Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum, p 15, October 19
DaI Pont, G.E, Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility in Australia & New Zealand, Law Book Co.
1995 Wilson, Gavin, The Artists of Hill End, Beagle Press and Art Gallery of New South Wales
1994 Maloon, Terence, A Matter of Metamorphosis, Art and Australia, Vol. 31, No. 3, p 366 – 371
James, Bruce, Sea Pictures, Australian Business Monthly, May, pp 130 – 135
1993 Lynn, Elwyn, Primitive cool hints at maze of the mind, The Weekend Australian, Aug 21-22
1990 Lynn, Elwyn, Feeling abstracted from form and colour, The Weekend Australian, Oct 13 -14
Maloon, Terence, catalogue introduction, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, September
1989 McDonald, John, Pattern Play, Vogue Living, February, Illustrated
1988 Lynn, Elwyn, From the sublime to the meticulous, The Weekend Australian, Sept 17- 18, p 12
1984 Walker, James, Australia, Artscribe, January, Illustrated p34-35 and Text
1983 Coventry,Christopher (curator), The Wrong Place: Five Sydney Painters, University of Tasmania
Bond, Tony, Twelve Australian Painters, A.G.W.A. Catalogue, Notes and Illustration pp. 14-15
Abstract Art in Australia, R.M.I.T. Catalogue, August, Illustrated with interview pp. 113 -124
Morris, Philip, Arts Grant Catalogue, Illustrated p. 32
Brett, Lily, The Painter The Artists Admire, P01 April, Illustrated p. 50-54
1982 Wood, Lilian, Directory of Australian Painters, notes and Illustration, p. 1, 15
The Seventies, National Bank Collection Catalogue, Illustration and Notes, p. 51
1981 McGillick, Paul, Exhibition Catalogue Introduction, Gallery A Exhibition, Illustrated
Lindsay, Robert, Survey 16, National Gallery of Victoria, catalogue text and illustrations
1980 Bonython, Kim, Modern Australian Painting 1975-1980, Rigby Ltd., Adelaide, Illustrated p. 37
Bell, Pam, like a gentle whale following the current.., Hemisphere, Vol. 24, No. 1, p. 44
1979 Aspect – Interview, Vol 4, No. 3, Illustrated
1976 Bonython, Kim, Modern Australian Painting 1970-1975, Rigby, Adelaide
1975 Patrick, McCaughey, Tony Tuckson, John Firth-Smith, Monash University Catalogue, Illustrated
1974 Burke, Janine, Art and Australia, Vol 12, pp. 72-81
McCaughey, Patrick, Ten Australians catalogue, Europe exhibition
1970 Bonython, Kim, Modern Australian Painting 1960-1970, Rigby, Adelaide
1969 Horton, Mervyn, Present Day Art in Australia, Ure Smith, Sydney
1968 McCulloch, Alan, Encyclopaedia of Australia Art, Hutchinson & Co., London
1967 Unknown Author, Young Australian Artists, Chance Magazine, No. 4
1965 de Berg, Hazel, John Firth-Smith, recorded interview for the Hazel de Berg Collection, Aug 18
1964 Thomas, Daniel, Young Painters in Australia, Hemisphere, April