Leon Polk Smith

Prairie Moon

While recognised as a forerunner of American hard-edge painting, whose innovative abstractions of the 1950s were highly influential, Leon Polk Smith (1906–96) often went unappreciated during his lifetime.

This publication chronicles the 2021 exhibition at Lisson Gallery, featuring works spanning nearly 50 years of the artist’s career, from his struggle with the legacy of Mondrian to his impact on the language of abstraction and his acknowledgment, later in life, of the influence on his art of the rural prairies of Oklahoma, where he grew up, and the importance of his Cherokee heritage.

This fully illustrated catalogue features new scholarship by curator and editor Lynn Zelevanksy and art historian Elizabeth Buhe, and a reproduction of a 1968 essay by the legendary critic Lawrence Alloway.

Representing three generations, their diverse perspectives provide a rich and complex discussion og the artist’s legacy, and unprecedented insight into his career.

Published after the exhibition, Leon Polk Smith: Prairie Moon at Lisson Gallery, New York (9 September – 16 October 2021).

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