Lionel Smit (1982-)

Lionel Smit


Lionel Smit was born in 1982 in Pretoria. Smit is a self-taught artist who currently lives and works in Cape Town. He is best known for his contemporary portraiture executed through monumental canvasses and sculptures. Smit exhibits locally and is considered to be one of the countries youngest investment artists. He is also currently represented in London and Hong Kong. And his work has been included in exhibitions and art fairs in Amsterdam, Germany, India, Miami, Monaco and Sydney. In addition Smit has established a substantial international following with collectors such as Standard Chartered Bank, Laurence Graff Art Collection, and the Rand Merchant Bank.

Smit’s painting has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, where it was chosen as the ‘face’ of the BP Portrait Award 2013. Smit was recently honoured with a Ministerial Award from the Department of Arts and Culture. Another highlight of his career is the fact that one of his works have been on the cover of Christie’s Auction Catalogue in London.


2013 100 Accumulation, solo exhibition, Everard Read, Johannesburg; BP Portrait Award Exhibition, National Portrait Gallery, London; Wonder Works Exhibition, The Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong

2012 Compendium, solo exhibition, 34FineArt, Cape Town; Accumulation of Disorder, installation, University of Stellenbosch Gallery, Stellenbosch; Strata, solo exhibition, Rook and Raven, London; Winter Exhibition, Everard Read, Johannesburg; Robert Bowman Gallery, India Art Fair, India; Jhb Art Fair, Everard Read

2011 Surface, solo exhibition, Artspace, Johannesburg; 34FineArt, ArtMonaco ‘11, Monaco; MOMAC, group exhibition, Roberta Moore Fine Art, England

2010 Out of the Office, group exhibition, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Germany; Cynthia Reeves Projects, Art Miami, USA; We are not Witches, Saatchi Gallery, London; Submerge, solo exhibition, 34FineArt, Cape Town

2009 F.A.C.E.T., Charity Auction, Christie’s, London; Relate, solo exhibition, Grande Provence, Franschhoek


2013 Ministerial Award from Department of Culture for Visual Art, Western Cape Government

2009 Merit Award, Vuleka, Sanlam Art Competition, Cape Town

2008 Achievement Award, Pro Arte School of Arts

2000 First prize in the MTN Art Colours Awards of Gauteng

1999/2000 Best painting student Pro Arte School of Arts