Leon Polk Smith: Prairie Moon
Prairie Moon is a solo exhibition of works by the Indian artist Leon Polk Smith, which is organized by the curator, writer, and art historian, Lynn Zelevansky.
Although recognized as a pioneer of American hard-edged painting and his innovative abstract paintings in the 1950s were extremely influential, Smith, who was born in Oklahoma, was often not appreciated during his life. This exhibition showcases the work of his mature career in nearly 50 years, from his struggle with Mondrian’s legacy to his influence on abstract language, and his recognition of the Oklahoma rural prairie in his later years. Influence, where he grew up, and the importance of his Cherokee legacy.
The works in the exhibition follow his artistic trajectory. In his earliest work "Untitled" (1949), he worked with Mondrian's primary colors, using strong black lines to outline the red, yellow, and white spaces within the grid. However, the large blue area on the left side of the work creates a sense of depth, contrary to the old artist's insistence on-grid a shallow space. Black White Repeat with Red No. 2 of 1953 is part of a series of tondos with a black and white grid with red or yellow in the upper quadrant, continuing his work using Mondrian grids and primary colors, but in this painting It is a close-up view of the rupture-the event of the grid splitting, widening the space at the rupture point, allowing the perception of the subtle roundness of the image, reflecting the curve of the sphere. He has been looking for a way to introduce curves into the Mondrian grid, and this is a step towards this goal.