Creation and Crucifixion

Jack Smith, 1955 - 1956

WAG 1236

About this object

This painting won first prize in the first John Moores Liverpool Exhibition (now known as the John Moores Painting Prize), held in 1957. At the time the artist Jack Smith was linked with ‘Kitchen Sink’ realism. Such paintings included domestic interiors cluttered with everyday objects. They had earthy and rather drab colours. Smith, however, was not interested in depicting real life. As the title suggests, he was concerned with what he described as “the capacity of the everyday to become miraculous or mystical.” He conveys this through the handling of light. The latter anticipates his later development towards geometrical abstraction and colourful patterns.

When he won, Smith was a part-time art teacher struggling to live on the sale of his paintings. Of the £1,000 prize money he said, “I shall paint for a short time on canvas instead of hardboard” and “the bank welcomed me with smiles.”

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Jack Smith (British: English, born:1928-06-18, died:2011-06-11)
  • Date
    1955 - 1956
  • Materials
    Oil paint; Hardboard
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 244 cm x 305 cm
  • Physical description
    A representational but stylised depiction of a house interior including a clothes line, a cluttered kitchen table and chairs. The objects are sharply defined and arranged without perspective. 2490 x 3100 x 95mm
  • Related people
    Sir John Moores (Previous owner); Jack Smith (Artist/maker, previous owner)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 1236
  • Credit line
    Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by John Moores in 1957
  • Location
    Walker Art Gallery, Room 15
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • Jack Smith

    Owned from: 1955
    How acquired: Artist
    Owned until: 1957-11
    Disposal method: Purchased by John Moores from the first John Moores Liverpool Exhibition
  • Sir John Moores

    Owned from: 1957
    How acquired: John Moores Exhibition First Prize Winner
    Owned until: 1957-11
    Disposal method: Presented to the Walker Art Gallery


Item inscriptions

  • Inscription text: Jack Smith 55 / 56
    Inscription method:
    Inscription note:
    Inscription location: Front; Lower right
Object view = Fine Art
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