Geoffrey Smedley (1927–2018)

Photo courtesy of the University of British Columbia archives.

We are saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Geoffrey Smedley last week on Gambier Island.

Smedley was a professor at the University of British Columbia in the Fine Arts department from 1978 to 1992. Born in London, England; he studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College in London. He first came to Canada as a visiting artist at Queen’s University in 1977.

Smedley will be remembered as both an academic and artist in equal measure. He published on 15th century Italian artist Piero della Francesca, demonstrating an “astute grasp of principles of art and geometry,” according to the book’s editor, Jan DeGrass.

As a sculptor he combined disciplines such as mathematics and philosophy with accomplished craftsmanship, his highly intellectual work functioned as a metaphor for language, time and memory. His sculptures have been exhibited at more than sixty galleries in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States and can be found in various public collections, including The Arts Council of Great Britain, Victoria and Albert Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

The Vancouver Courier has published an obituary here.