Mark Liam Smith

Mark Liam Smith

Mark Liam Smith (b. 1973, Middlesbrough, England) developed an interest in art at an early age and spent much of his childhood drawing obsessively. After completing three bachelor degrees—Fine Arts (Painting), Science (Physiology), and Arts (Linguistics)—at the University of Saskatchewan, he moved to Paris to continue studying art in some of the world’s greatest museums. After some time, he returned to Canada to pursue a Ph.D. in Linguistics at McGill University. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Ottawa, where he worked on behalf of the Canadian Department of Defence for several years before returning to his first love: painting.

Mark Liam Smith
“Because I am colour-blind, I long had to rely on my knowledge of colour-mixing formulas to recreate skin tones and other local colours. Later in my practice, I realized that local colours served only to restrict my expression. By viewing my colour-blindness as a strength rather than as a weakness, I began embracing the use of non-local colours to develop my work. I use non-local colours to exaggerate the idea of subjectivity.”
— Mark Liam Smith

Mark Liam Smith



Mark Liam Smith (b. 1973, Middlesbrough, England) is a Toronto-based oil painter interested in art-historic tropes, myth and narrative. He views his colour-blindness as a strength rather than a weakness by accentuating the use of non-local colours in his work.

Smith’s work has been exhibited in galleries in Montreal, Toronto, London, and New York, and at art fairs such as SCOPE Basel, Art Seattle, Papier in Montreal, and Toronto Edition. He has been granted the Emerging Artist Awardby the Federation of Canadian Artists and two Ontario Arts Council grants. His art has been featured in Hi-Fructose, Booooooom, and Bizarre Beyond Belief Magazine, among others.



Curriculum Vitæ


2005-2008 Doctor of Philosophy (Linguistics-ABD), McGill University
2003-2005 Master of Arts (Linguistics-ABD), University of Saskatchewan
2002 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), University of Saskatchewan
1998 Bachelor of Arts (Linguistics), University of Saskatchewan
1996 Bachelor of Science (Physiology), University of Saskatchewan

Solo Exhibitions

2019 In Bloom, Galerie Youn, Montreal
2017 Of Centaurs and Men, Galerie Youn, Montreal
2016 Imagined Narratives, Elaine Fleck Gallery, Toronto

Art Fairs

2018 Seattle Art Fair (group). Galerie Youn, Seattle WA
2018 Papier 18, Galerie Youn, Montreal, QC
2016  SCOPE Basel, Arte Ponte Gallery, Basel, Switzerland

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018 6th Anniversary Group Exhibition, Galerie Youn, Montreal
2017 Flora, Galerie Youn, Montreal
2017 SALON V, Project Gallery, Toronto
2017 32nd Scarborough Arts Exhibition, Bluffs Gallery, Scarborough
2017 Et Tu, Art Brute?, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York City
2017  Director's Choice, 19 Karen Contemporary, Gold Coast, Australia
2017  555 Anniversary Group Exhibition, Galerie Youn, Montreal
2017  New Works, Galerie Youn, Montreal
2016  Holiday Exhibition, Galerie Youn, Montreal
2016  A.I.R.S. 2016, Federation Gallery, Vancouver
2016  It's Art, D-Contemporary, London, UK
2016  Taste Makers II, Treat Gallery, New York City
2016  FRESH! 2016, JanKossen Contemporary, New York City
2016  Fleck Spring Group Show, Elaine Fleck Gallery, Toronto
2015  10-Year Anniversary Show, Elaine Fleck Gallery, Toronto
2015  Salon of Inclusiveness, The Black Cat Gallery, Toronto
2015  SALON III, Project Gallery, Toronto
2015  A.I.R.S. 2015, Federation Gallery, Vancouver
2015  Fleck Fall Group Show, Elaine Fleck Gallery, Toronto
2015  Flora, Hashtag Gallery, Toronto
2015  2nd Year Juried Exhibition, The Black Cat Gallery, Toronto
2015  The Sex Show, Gallery 1313, Toronto

Grants & Awards

2017 Ontario Arts Council Grant, Visual Artist: Emerging
2017 Ontario Arts Council Grant, Exhibition Assistance
2016 International Confederation of Art Critics: Award recipient, London, UK
2015 Federation of Canadian Artists, Emerging Artist Award

Charity Auctions

2018 4th Annual Date for Dignity Gala, Calgary Pregnancy Centre, Calgary        
2018 Artsida 8 Charity Auction, AIDS Community Care, Montreal

Selected Bibliography

Nymphs and Satyr: Iterations, The Matador Review, Summer 2018
Interview with Artist Mark Liam Smith (Video), Novella Magazine, October 23, 2017
A Prologue to Novella’s Conversation with Artist Mark Liam Smith, Novella Magazine, October 6, 2017
Of Centaurs and Men at Galerie Youn, Create! Magazine, September 19, 2017
Of Centaurs and Men @ Galerie Youn, Bizarre Beyond Belief Magazine, August 31, 2017
Telling Fairy Tales with Brushes, Atina Dimitrova, Made in Shoreditch Magazine, June 27, 2017
Mark Liam Smith, Create! Magazine, April 18, 2017
Mark Liam Smith - A Day at the Met, Bizarre Beyond Belief Magazine, December 5, 2016
Mark Liam Smith Commands Colour in Paintings, Andy Smith, Hi-Fructose Magazine, August 5, 2017
Artisa Daltónico Sorprende con Sus Colores, Alejandro Stavrinakis, Loqueva Magazine, December 11, 2016
Interview with Mark Liam Smith, Art Reveal Magazine, Issue 21 (ISBN 978-1-36-690052-4), October 2016
Color Paintings by Mark Liam Smith, Tina Meamar, Art People Magazine, August 22, 2017
O Fantástico Artista Que Encontrou No Daltonismo, Maria Elisa Cruz Lima, Fragmentos De Moda, August 19, 2017
Artist Mark Liam Smith Transforms Colour Blindness into Strength, Katy Cowan, Creative Boom, August 16, 2016
Mark Liam Smith - Imagined Narratives, Bizarre Beyond Belief Magazine, August 10, 2016
Artist Spotlight: Mark Liam Smith, Jeff Hamada, Booooooom! Magazine, August 9, 2016
Colour is Light (Video), 30-Second Film Artist, Filmartist Productions, May 18, 2016