Leon Polk Smith
Leon Polk Smith
London, 16 November 2018 – 12 January 2019
This November, Lisson Gallery London is pleased to present an exhibition celebrating one of the founders of the hard-edge style of Minimalism, Leon Polk Smith. Following Lisson Gallery’s first exhibition in New York with the Leon Polk Smith Foundation last year (8 September – 21 October 2017), this show will feature eight multipartite canvases and a large freestanding screen, focusing on a period from 1965 to the early 1970s. As the first major presentation of his work in the UK, this exhibition will introduce local audiences to the abstract multipart canvases of this still under-appreciated American artist.
Of Native American descent, Smith was born outside the Cherokee territory of Chickasha a year before it was incorporated into the state of Oklahoma, which joined the United States in 1907. He moved to New York in 1936 to study and in the early 1940s there he encountered the work of the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and came to know Hilla Rebay, director of the fledgling Museum of Non-Objective Art. Smith embraced Mondrian’s defined Neoplastic arrangements, but soon relaxed the grid through the use of soft curves and by employing circular canvases. While the mid-century American art world was focused on Abstract Expressionism, Smith subverted the prevailing orthodoxies and invented his own visual vocabulary, first gaining prominence in the late 1950s with his distinctive shaped canvas series, titled the Correspondences. Balancing formal and rational elements with contemporary abstraction, Smith distilled his own experiences into pure, geometric forms, becoming synonymous with the post-war, hard-edged school of Minimalism.Read more
27 Bell Street
Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00am – 6:00pm