Leon Polk Smith

Leon Polk Smith
Untitled. Verso: Untitled
Gouache over graphite on paper; verso: Watercolor and graphite on paper.
19 7/8 x 25 1/8 inches (50.5 x 63.8 cm)
Gift of the Leon Polk Smith Foundation.
© Leon Polk Smith / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Signed, Leon Polk Smith, and dated 1958, lower right; verso: signed, Leon Polk Smith, and dated 1958.


Recto is landscape format; verso is portrait format
An abstract painter throughout his life, Leon Polk Smith developed a distinct formal vocabulary which combined Native American motifs -- reflecting his Cherokee heritage -- with European modernism. Mondrian, whose work Smith first saw in 1936 while attending summer school in New York City, was a major influence although Smith went beyond the constraints of Neoplasticism to explore a wide range of geometric compositions, often based on interlocking forms. Smith's hard-edge style and vast expanses of color anticipated the minimalist movement of the 1960s.

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