Contributed by Sharon Butler / “Reaching for Something High,”Leslie Smith III’s first NYC solo show, on view at Chart, is a virtuosic blending of influences and themes, reflected in the delicate complexity of eight shaped paintings on thick stretchers floating with trenchant awkwardness on the wall. Each painting comprises many smaller, oddly shaped canvases, each of them individually constructed and stretched and, for the most part, lightly painted.
Tag: Leslie Smith III
I took a trip to Madison, Wisconsin, in December, when the sky was gray but before the temperature had turned bitter. My guide was Leslie Smith III, a 2009 Yale MFA graduate with a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art who will have paintings on display at VOLTA next week with beta pictoris gallery / Maus Contemporary. Smith is an assistant professor of drawing and painting at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has a generous studio in the art building on campus. During my visit, he showed me his new paintings, which are purely abstract, comprising multi-panel shaped canvases, vivid, high-key color, and wobbly geometric shapes. We talked about the painting process, his shift to shaped canvases, and his transition from figurative work to abstraction.