The Canadian Artist Robert Adrian Smith, who had lived in Vienna, Austria, since 1972, passed away on Monday September 7th 2015. Robert Adrian X is widely known as an art and telecommunications pioneer, but also was a painter who developed an analytic, conceptual practice, uniting aesthetics and politics in his answers to the question “What is Art?”
Born in Toronto on February 22 in 1935 into a family of artists, he studied commercial art at high school but did not go on to college and began his career as a painter instead. After moving to London in the early 1960s, and running a business cooperative that produced behind-glass paintings, Adrian started reflecting on modern art and broke with traditional “painterly” painting in the late 1960s. In 1969 in London he met his future wife, the Austrian radio journalist Heidi Grundmann, and in 1972 resettled to Vienna.