Mr Allan Smith

MA, BFA, DipTchg


Allan Smith has taught art and design history and theory, and studio practice at several New Zealand tertiary institutions. He has worked as Curator at City Gallery, Wellington; and Curator, Contemporary Art at Auckland Art Gallery. His first appointment to Elam School of Fine Arts was to the Painting Department. He has written on a wide range of topics in contemporary art. Smith's research is grounded in his explorations of material and formal transformations of 19th and 20th century art and practice, which include interests in expressive tectonics in 19th and 20th century art and architecture, changes in image and sound technologies, concepts of collecting and accumulation in 19th and 20th century photography, and the varying conditions of painting in the era of late capitalism. He was the curator of the inaugural Auckland Triennial in 2001 at the Auckland Art Gallery and most recently curated “Running on Pebbles”, a 36 artist exhibition at the artist-run space Snakepit.

Research | Current

  • Art theory
  • Curation
  • Painting
  • Critical Writing

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Smith, J. A. (2016). Provisional arrangements: Paul Cullen. SOFAChristchurch, New Zealand. Related URL.
  • Smith, J. A. (2016). Little by little, soon a rich cloth: Painting everywhere and everytime. In N. Conland (Ed.) Necessary distraction: A painting show (pp. 33-37). Auckland: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.
  • Smith, J. A. (2013). Welded indicatives: The spatial constructions of John Panting. Art New Zealand (149), 94-99. Related URL.
  • Smith, J. A., & Tweedie-Cullen, L. (Eds.) (2013). Distracted reader # 2: A ridge, a section, an existing boundary, additions, a removed partition. A floor; concrete (where possible). Auckland, New Zealand: split/fountain. Pages: 156. Related URL.
  • Curnow, W., & Smith, J. (2012). Days of reading: Letters between Wystan Curnow and Allan Smith. Reading Room: a journal of art and culture (5), 6-47.
  • Smith, J. A. T. (2012). Entropic Steps: Rocks, ruins, and increase in John Ruskin, Robert Smithson, and Per Kirkeby. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, 12 (1), 78-99. 10.1080/14434318.2012.11432634
  • Leonard, R. (Ed.) (2011). Peter Robinson’s Polystyrene Monoliths: Hegel, negation and how to levitate the Minimalist object. Brisbane: Institute of Modern Art.
  • Smith, A. (2011). Mobility and Migration in Recent New Zealand Art. In R. Brownson (Ed.) Art toi: New Zealand art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (pp. 346-353). Auckland: Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.

Contact details

Primary location

ELAM B - Bldg 113
Level 1, Room 121
New Zealand