Spanierman Modern   A Division of Spanierman Gallery, LLC

Clifford Smith (b. 1951)



Clifford Smith is a realist painter best known for seascapes and landscapes in which he seeks to, “parallel nature rather than imitate it.” Motivated by a desire to “get beyond the physical essence of something,” Smith encompasses a broader experience of a subject, by expressing its past, present, and future.  Often his spatial compositions appear to extend beyond the perimeters of the picture frame to convey the transient nature of experience.

Clifford Smith - Gray Ocean Field, 2009Clifford Smith’s influences include Caravaggio, John Constable, and contemporary painters such as Rackstraw Downes, Frank Stella, and Gerhard Richter. Smith is best known for the “ocean field” paintings he began creating in the 1990s.  Portraying choppy swells seen as if from a pitching boat, these images at first appear photographic, but Smith’s painterly handling is apparent when they are viewed close up, engaging the viewer in a personal response to the abstract and rhythmic patterns of foam, surf, and movement. 

Clifford Smith was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He earned his B.S. from Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven, in 1973, and his M.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, in 1979. Since the late 1970s Smith has participated in various solo and group exhibitions, including recent solo shows in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, and Exeter, New Hampshire, and group exhibitions in New York and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Smith currently resides and works in New Hampshire. His work can be found in numerous public collections, including the American Stock Exchange, New York; New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord; and Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

©The essay herein is the property of Spanierman Gallery, LLC and is copyrighted by Spanierman Gallery, LLC.  It may not be reproduced without written permission from Spanierman Gallery, LLC nor shown or communicated to anyone without due credit being given to Spanierman Gallery, LLC.

CLIFFORD SMITH - ARTIST CVClifford Smith - South Beach Break, 2010

1951, born, Passaic, New Jersey
1973, received BS, Southern Connecticut State College, New Haven,
1979, received MFA, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
Currently resides in New Hampshire


Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art at the Midland Center for the Arts, Michigan, Ocean Fields: Clifford Smith Paintings, 2010.  
Spanierman Modern, New York, Clifford Smith, 2009.
Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Ranton, Florida, Outside, 2007.
Spanierman Modern, New York, Clifford Smith, 2007.
Lyceum Gallery, Derryfield School, Manchester, New Hampshire, Studies, 2007.
Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, California, Oceans Ten, 2006.
Etherington Fine Art, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, Sound and Earth, 2005.
Etherington Fine Art, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, Sound Waves, 2004.
Lamont Gallery, Phillips Exeter Academy, New Hampshire, Land and Sea, 2004.
Gallery Henoch, New York, Recent Paintings, 2003.
Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, New York, On Paper, 2003.
Trudy Labell Fine Art, Naples, Florida, Land, Sea and Time, 2003.
The Munson Gallery, Chatham, Massachusetts, New York, 2002.
Gallery Henoch, New York, Sea See, 2001.
The Art Center at Hargate, St. Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire, Recent Paintings, 2001.
The McCoy Gallery, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts, Saltwater Works, 2000.
Gallery Henoch, New York, Recent Paintings, 1999.
The Art Gallery at New England College, Henniker, New Hampshire, Saltwater, 1996.
Greenville County Museum of Art, North Carolina, Ten Years of Landscape Painting, 1995.
Sherry French Gallery, New York, Spatial Evidence, 1994.
Edward Williams Gallery, Fairleigh Dickenson University, Hackensack, New Jersey, The Hackensack River Paintings, 1992.
The Hupert Union Building, Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Revealing Nature, 1991.
Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York, Recent Paintings, 1988.
Higgins Hall Gallery, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York, Thesis Exhibition, 1979.


Spanierman Modern, New York, On Paper, 2007.
Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, California, Year in Review, 2006.
The McIninch Art Gallery, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, The Spirit of the Forest,2006.
Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton, Florida, Fire and Ice: 2006 Summer International, 2006.
Hespe Gallery, San Francisco, California, RE-Opening Exhibition, 2006.
Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 12th Annual Realism Invitational Exhibition, 2005.
Spanierman Gallery, LLC, at East Hampton, New York, Twelve Contemporary Artists III, 2005.
Trudy Labell Fine Art, Naples, Florida, Land, Sand and Time, 2005.
Scott White Contemporary Art, San Diego, Cultivating Landscape, 2005.
Gallery Henoch, New York, Gallery Artists, 2004.
Coolidge Center of the Arts, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Along the Shoreline, 2004.
State University of New York—Orange, Middletown, New York, Art from the Start, 2004.
Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, New York, Patton Miller, Clifford Smith, Gaven Ziegler, and Diane Mayo, 2004.
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Contemporary Currents: Eccentric Landscape, 2003.
Gallery Henoch and J. Cacciola Gallery, New York, Cross Pollination/Gallery to Gallery, 2002.
Hespe Gallery, San Francisco, Springscapes, 2002.
Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, New York, East End Views, 2002.
Trudy Labell Fine Art, Naples, Florida, H20hhh, 2002.
Arnot Museum of Art, Elmira, New York, Re-presenting Representation V, 2002.
Etherington Fine Art, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, Land and Seascape, 2001.
Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, New York, By the Sea, 2001.
Trudy Labell Fine Art, Naples, Florida, Salt, Sun & Time, 2001.
Gallery Henoch, New York, Holiday Group Show, 2001.
The Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire, New England Views: Real and Imagined – The Gloria Wilcher Memorial Exhibition, 2000.
Gallery Henoch, New York, Gallery Group Show, 2000.
Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York, Gone Fishin, 2000.
Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts, The Merrimack College Collection, 1999.
The Ralls Collection, Washington D.C., Summer Invitational Exhibition, 1999.
The Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach, Florida, Coast to Coast: The Contemporary Landscape in Florida, 1998.
The Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Spectrum 1998, 1998.
Gallery Henoch, New York, Invitational Exhibition, 1997.
New Hampshire Institute of Art, Manchester, Quest for Unity: The Landscape, 1995.
Sherry French Gallery, New York, Everglades—River of Glass, 1994.
The American College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, A Diversity of Views, Artists Look at the Land, 1994.
Gallery North, Miami Dade Community College, Florida, GAIA: A New Look at Art on Earth, 1994.
Broden Gallery LTD., Madison, Wisconsin, Heartland, 1994.
Ben Shahn Galleries, William Paterson College, Wayne, New Jersey, Painting: New Jersey, 1991.
Gallery Henoch, New York, New Talent and Others, 1990.
City Without Walls, Newark, New Jersey, Metro 88, 1988.
Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, Art and the Law, 1987.
Katharina Rich Perlow Gallery, New York, New Talent in American Landscape, 1986.
Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Olympics Exhibition, 1984.
Canton Art Institute, Ohio, Lines of Scrimmage, 1978.


2000                New Hampshire Arts Council Fellowship
1979                Teaching Assistantship, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


American Stock Exchange, New York
Arthur Andersen & Company, Chicago
Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Compensation Funds of New Hampshire, Bow
Concord Hospital, New Hampshire
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebenon, New Hampshire
Fairleigh Dickenson University, Teaneck, New Jersey
Fidelity Investments, Merrimack, New Hampshire
Great Lakes Beverage Company, Detroit
John Hancock Insurance Company, Boston
Hogan and Hartsman, Washington, D.C.
Illinois Bell Telephone, Chicago
Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts
New Boston Central School, New Hampshire
New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord
Norfolk Southern Corporation, Houston, Texas
Northwestern National Life Insurance Company, Minneapolis
Saint Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire
Texas Air Incorporated, Houston
United Assets Management Incorporated, Boston
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut


Lisa N. Peters, Clifford Smith (New York: Spanierman Modern, 2009).
Joseph V. Amodio, “Haute Hamptons: Explore LI,” Newsday, August 19, 2009, B8.
Eileen Casey,“The Art of Fashion in the Hamptons’ Illuminates D’Haene, Elise: “A Marriage of Fashion and Art,” The East Hampton Star, August 6, 2009, C4.
“Color, Fabric and Artistic Vision,”, August 19, 2009.
Lianne Phillip, Art and Antiques, (February 2009), 50.
George S. Bolge, ed., In the Eye of the Beholder (Boca Raton, FL: Boca Raton Museum of Art, 2008).
Jennifer Landes, “Sticking to Abstraction: Strange Ramada Inn Colors and Blobish Orbs  at the Spanierman Gallery,” East Hampton Star, January 10, 2008, C-1.
Neil Kendricks, “Oceans Ten and Sift Series are Worth Sifting Through,” San Diego Union Tribune, March 23, 2006, 36.
Jeff Turrentine, “Design by Degrees,” Architectural Digest (March 2005), 126.
Marcia Mayo ed., Contemporary American Views, (Minsk, Belarus: Art in Embassies Program /United States Department of State, 2004).
Robert Craven, “Land and Sea: Paintings by Clifford Smith; Glassworks and Photographs by Taliaferro Jones,” Art New England (August/September 2004), 22.
Eric Ernst, “The East Ends Natural Beauty,” Southampton Press, September 9, 2004, B-7.
Robert Long, “Landscapes at Lizan-Tops: A Short Course on East End Realism,” East Hampton Star, August 26, 2004, C-1.
Brooks Robards, “Clifford Smith pours oil on water,” Martha’s Vineyard Times, July 29, 2004, 6.
Ellen Grimm, “Granite State Greats,” Arts Media (Summer 2004), 27.
Victoria Shouldis, “A Sense of Place,” Concord Monitor, 2004, Arts and Entertainment 1.     
Clifford Smith (New York: Gallery Henoch, 2003).
Marion Wolberg Weiss, “Art Commentary,” Dan’s Papers, June 2003.
Newell Turner Ed. “Editor’s Choice,” Hampton Cottage and Gardens (July 15-31, 2003), 50.
Greg O’Brien, “To the Lighthouse,” Cape & Islands Home (Summer 2003), 106.
Rose C.S. Silva, “From the Studio,” The East Hampton Star, June 26, 2003.
 Bill Van Sicien, “Landscapes: Give and Take between the Old and New,” The Providence Journal (February 27-March 2, 2003), 12.
Amanda Roberge, “A Bold Statement About Nature,” The North Kingston Standard Times, February 20-21, 2003, 1
Bill Rodriguez,“The Great Outdoors, A Fresh Perspective in URI’s ‘Eccentric Landscape,” The Providence Phoenix, February 14, 2003, Arts 1.
John D., O’Hern, ed, Re-presenting Representation V (Elmira, NY: Arnot Art Museum, 2001), 11.
Dustan Knight, “Clifford Smith: Recent Works,” Art New England Magazine (April/May 2001), 42-44.
Amy Schaible and Kerry Tierney Eds., “Art Now,” Gallery Guide (September 2001), 6, 17.
Diane Tepfer, ed, Celebrating American Family Life (Copenhagen, Denmark: Art in Embassies Program/ United States Department of State, 2000), 20-21.
Christine Hamm, “Revealing Nature,” Concord Monitor, April 27, 2000.
Rich McKown,“New England Views: Real and Imagined—The Gloria Wilcher Memorial Exhibition,” Art England Magazine (December 2000/January 2001), 43.
Gary R. Libby, ed, Coast to Coast: The Contemporary Landscape in Florida (Dayton Beach, FL: The Museum of Arts and Sciences, 1999), 102-103.
Saltwater: Paintings and Drawings of Clifford Smith (Henniker, NH: New England College, 1996).
Elliot Jones,“Everglades-River of Grass,” Press Journal (May 24, 1996).
D. Quincy Whitney, “Romancing the Sea,” Boston Globe, November 17, 1996.
Christine Hamm, “To Catch the Very Essence of a Place,” Concord Monitor, February 12, 1995.
George Melrod, “Multimedia Visions of Reality,” Art and Antiques (December 1994), 42.
Eileen Watkins, “Painting: New Jersey,” Star Ledger, February 23, 1992.
Lynn Crist ed,  Art and the Law (St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co., 1987), 98-99.
Ed Rubin, "Masters at Perlow," Manhattan Arts (October 1986).


Please also visit, and follow us on our blog, Spanierman on YouTube Spanierman Modern on Facebook Spanierman on Twitter

©2011 Spanierman Modern, All Rights Reserved | 53 E 58th Street, New York, NY 10022