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Maus  Contemporary

 

 

Leslie Smith III

 

 

Leslie Smith III  -  "Stranger Days"Leslie Smith III - "Stranger Days"

January 28 - March 26, 2022

 

Leslie Smith III

 Stranger Days

 

 


This exhibition is supported by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of the Arts Emily Mead Baldwin Award in the Creative Arts

 

 

 

Stranger days explores the intimacy of observation. Once again, I’ve turned to the painting support itself for inspiration. Accepting the initial shaped canvas as the first formative gesture, I’ve looked to create subsequent gestures that amplify its presence. The addition of felt, as a juxtaposing support, allows a nuanced conversation between the rigidity of weave and weft and the irregularity and randomness of felted wool fibers. This conversation is steeped in notions of drawing, mark making and improvisational discovery. Therefore, paving the way for a more process-based approach to integrating illusionistic space and an embrace of perceived flatness. Stranger Days looks to challenge how we see what we see. This exhibition warrants long stares and quiet, intimate viewing. This was the space from which this work was conceived, in the latter half of 2020. Inherently introspective, this selection of paintings pause to acknowledge the fortification of daily rituals during times of intense uncertainty. I focused on allowing space for redefining the rules of making while concurrently experiencing deep shifts in our social-cultural and political identities. The individual works in this exhibition reference both internal and external forces. The likes of which we experience when trying to rationalize disbelief.

— Leslie Smith III, January 2022

 

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Today is Yesterday's TomorrowLeslie Smith III "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow

Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow

2022
oil paint, dried pigment, sewn canvas, and industrial felt
approx. 43 by 95 by 4 in. (ca. 109,2 by 241,3 by 10,2 cm)

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow", side viewLeslie Smith III "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow", side view

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow", side viewLeslie Smith III "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow", side view

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow", detailLeslie Smith III "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow", detail

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow", detailLeslie Smith III "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow", detail Leslie Smith III  "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow", detailLeslie Smith III "Today is Yesterday's Tomorrow", detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "In The Thick Of It"Leslie Smith III "In The Thick Of It"

In The Thick Of It

2022
oil paint, dried pigment, sewn canvas, and industrial felt
approx. 74 by 63 by 11 in. (ca. 188 by 160 by 28 cm)

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "In The Thick Of It", side viewLeslie Smith III "In The Thick Of It", side view

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "In The Thick Of It", detailLeslie Smith III "In The Thick Of It", detail Leslie Smith III  "In The Thick Of It", detailLeslie Smith III "In The Thick Of It", detail

 

 

 

 
Leslie Smith III  "In The Thick Of It", detailLeslie Smith III "In The Thick Of It", detail Leslie Smith III  "In The Thick Of It", detailLeslie Smith III "In The Thick Of It", detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "If I Can Find My Way Back Home"Leslie Smith III "If I Can Find My Way Back Home"

If I Can Find My Way Back Home

2022
oil paint, dried pigment, sewn canvas, and industrial felt
approx. 59 by 93.75 in. (ca. 149,9 by 238,1 cm)

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "If I Can Find My Way Back Home", side viewLeslie Smith III "If I Can Find My Way Back Home", side view

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "If I Can Find My Way Back Home", detailLeslie Smith III "If I Can Find My Way Back Home", detail

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "If I Can Find My Way Back Home", side viewLeslie Smith III "If I Can Find My Way Back Home", side view

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "If I Can Find My Way Back Home", detailLeslie Smith III "If I Can Find My Way Back Home", detail Leslie Smith III  "If I Can Find My Way Back Home", detailLeslie Smith III "If I Can Find My Way Back Home", detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Meet Me In The Sky"Leslie Smith III "Meet Me In The Sky"

Meet Me In The Sky

2022
oil paint, dried pigment, sewn canvas, and industrial felt
approx. 44.5 by 43 in. (ca. 113 by 109,2 cm)

 

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

"Amongst the chaos of mid 2020, the pandemic, political riots, working from home, home school, grocery shopping, long lines, and PCR tests. I longed for silence while in lockdown.

In Silence is a series of drawings whose making, calmed many storms and created the grounding force to stay focused and disciplined. It is a selection of five drawings from a ritualized drawing practice. Each drawing consists of many light and scratchy marks that collectively create nebulous forms. I intended to create works that made graphite appear weightless on paper. My uncertainty of a definitive outcome for each drawing initiated the start of a new one. The idea of finishing anything seemed too certain in a time of so much uncertainty.

At the core of these five selected works, I found silence."

 

— Leslie Smith III, January 2022

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "In Silence", new 2022 series of five matted and framed works on paperLeslie Smith III "In Silence", new 2022 series of five matted and framed works on paper

In Silence

a new series of five works on paper

2022

graphite on Arches 300 paper

 

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "In Silence 1", 2022, 4.4 by 6.3 in. (11,2 by 16 cm)Leslie Smith III "In Silence 1", 2022, 4.4 by 6.3 in. (11,2 by 16 cm)

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "In Silence 2", 2022, 4.8 by 4.4 in. (12,2 by 11,2 cm)Leslie Smith III "In Silence 2", 2022, 4.8 by 4.4 in. (12,2 by 11,2 cm)

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "In Silence 3", 2022, 4.5 by 6 in. (11,4 by 15,2 cm)Leslie Smith III "In Silence 3", 2022, 4.5 by 6 in. (11,4 by 15,2 cm)

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "In Silence 4", 2022, 3.4 by 4.25 in. (8.6 by 10,8 cm)Leslie Smith III "In Silence 4", 2022, 3.4 by 4.25 in. (8.6 by 10,8 cm)

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "In Silence 5", 2022, 4.5 by 5.1 in. (11,4 by 12,9 cm)Leslie Smith III "In Silence 5", 2022, 4.5 by 5.1 in. (11,4 by 12,9 cm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Now What ?"Leslie Smith III "Now What ?"

Now What ?

2022
oil paint, dried pigment, sewn canvas, and industrial felt
approx. 20 by 13.2 in. (ca. 50,8 by 33,5 cm)

 

 

Leslie Smith  "Now What ?", side viewLeslie Smith "Now What ?", side view

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Outside the Ears of Others"Leslie Smith III "Outside the Ears of Others"

Outside the Ears of Others

2022
oil paint, dried pigment, sewn canvas, and industrial felt
approx. 12 by 14 in. (ca. 30,5 by 35,6 cm)

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Outside the Ears of Others", detailLeslie Smith III "Outside the Ears of Others", detail

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Lost in Time", 2018"Lost in Time", 2018

Lost in Time:

Gris' "Seated Harlequin" ponders Kelly's "Red White"

2018
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 16.75 by 18 in. (ca. 42,5 by 45,7 cm)

 

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

"When He Couldn't Part The Sea""When He Couldn't Part The Sea"

When He Couldn't Part The Sea

2018
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 16 by 20 in. (ca. 40,6 by 50,8 cm)

 

private US collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Redaction, 2017Redaction, 2017

Redaction

2017
oil on shaped canvas (three individual sections)
approx. 62.5 by 118 in. (ca. 158,7 by 299,7 cm)

 

 

Redaction was included in the Elissa Auther-curated exhibition

Aftereffect: Georgia O'Keeffe and Contemporary Painting

at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, MCA Denver, in Denver, Colorado

 

 

 

 

 

Redacted, 2017Redacted, 2017

Redacted

2017
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 70 by 96 in. (ca. 177,8 by 243,8 cm)

 

 

 

 

 

Above The Fold, 2017Above The Fold, 2017

Above The Fold

2017
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 19 by 24 in. (ca. 48,2 by 61 cm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Margins, 2017In The Margins, 2017

In The Margins

2017
oil on shaped canvas, acrylic and graphite on Arches 300g. paper
approx. 31.5 by 29 in. (ca. 80 by 73,7 cm)

 

 

In the Margins was included in the Elissa Auther-curated exhibition

Aftereffect: Georgia O'Keeffe and Contemporary Painting

at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, MCA Denver, in Denver, Colorado

 

 

 

 

 

Locus of Control

2017
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 50.5 by 51.5 in. (ca. 128,3 by 130,8 cm)

 

 

 

 

 

The Mistress of Time

2017
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 55.5 by 52 in. (ca. 141 by 132,1 cm)

 

permanent collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA

 

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Affliction 5"Leslie Smith III "Affliction 5"

Affliction 5

2016
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 40 by 20 in. (ca. 101,6 by 50,8 cm)

 

 

 

 

 

Leslie Smith III  "Second Chance"Leslie Smith III "Second Chance"

Second Chance

2016
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 26 by 30 in. (ca. 66 by 76,2 cm)

 

private collection, Switzerland

 

 

 

 

 

Silent Treatment

2016
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 36 by 45.5 in. (ca. 91,5 by 115,5 cm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Sided Disposition

2016
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 53 by 50 in. (ca. 134,6 by 127 cm)

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Dreams And Flying Machines

2016
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 75 by 110 in. (ca. 190,5 by 279,4 cm)

 

permanent collection of The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA

 

 

 

 

 

 


Only A Paper Moon

2015
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 51.5 by 52 in. (ca. 130,8 by 132,1 cm)

 

 

 

 

 



Ready or Not

2014
oil on shaped canvas
approx. 29.5 by 26 in. (ca. 74,9 by 66 cm)

 

 

 

 

 

 



Night Mass


2013
oil on shaped canvas
ca. 27 by 27 in.


 

 

 

An abstract painter, Smith explores both the complexity of the non-representational and the expansiveness created by working on non-traditional supports. Not content with being confined by the linearity of the rectangle or the square, Smith explodes the confines of geometry with custom designed shaped canvas supports that would seem accidental were they not so absolutely intentional, their soft edges falling away, drifting, challenging viewers’ expectations and creating tensions that are almost unimaginable.

Smith’s paintings literally feel as if they could leap off the wall. Their forms seem as if they could reflect, veil and reveal at precisely the same moment as the artist pushes viewers away, holds them close and pulls them through in the same moment. Smith understands the complexities of abstraction and he uses both the surfaces and the structures of his works to create tensions that are palpable. His works are filled with suggestions of the familiar, being both wondrous and comforting.

 

 

 

 

 click image to read the interviewclick image to read the interview

click image to read the interview

 

 

 

 







Bather

2011
oil on linen
ca. 26 by 26 in.

 

 

 

 



Near Window

2011
oil on linen
ca. 26 by 26 in.

 

 

 

 



Gladiator

2011
oil on linen
ca. 26 by 26 in.










Airplane

2012
oil on canvas
ca. 26 by 26 in.

 

 

 

 

click on above image to read a review of Leslie Smith' beta pictoris gallery exhibition As I Remembered


 

 



click on above image for additional information on this exhibition at CAM




 

visit Leslie Smith III' s website:

visit Leslie Smith's websitevisit Leslie Smith's website
 

 

 


 


 

 

Lay Away
Lay Away being installed at the
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art



click banner for more info on the MMoCA show

"Leslie Smith employs abstraction to communicate stories about the human experience. A classically trained painter, he nevertheless embraces the ambiguities of a more expressionist-based practice, populating his canvases with shapes that oscillate from amorphous to representational, and meanings that hover between the indecipherable and the suggestive."

    -- excerpt from MMoCA website.