Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Leslie Smith III

 click image to read the interviewclick image to read the interview

click image to read the interview

 

 

Leslie Smith IIILeslie Smith III

 

Leslie Smith III

Locus Of Control 

 

March 17 - April 21, 2017

 

opening reception

Friday, March 17 (6-8pm)

 

 

Maus Contemporary is excited to announce the exhibition Leslie Smith III  Locus of Control, the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

 

 

Locus of Control reconsiders the causal-relationship between my philosophical and social concerns, namely, the resulting image and viewing experience. I have delved deeper into creating image-objects that provoke perceived experiences and collectively share a consciousness of ones willingness to alter personal perception in order to correct how difference is seen. I intend to create viewing experiences, which represent the possibility of empowering viewers to change perspective.

- Leslie Smith III

 

 

Locus of Control investigates the degree to which people believe they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to exterior forces outside their control. Formally, this project explores unique and individual viewing experiences that challenge how we understand ourselves in relationship to those around us. Referencing the history of Black abstraction the subjects of these inquiries reflect intentions to politicize abstraction in the interest of suggesting perception as a defining factor in our cultural affair with otherness. I have produced a series of works where shaped oil paintings redefine the space of the wall with conflicting tangential parings. The pursuit being, to generate works that exhibits the social agency of abstraction while simultaneously contributing to the contemporary discourse within the broader art world.  

As a series of paintings, Locus of Control exhibits distinct spaces not dependent upon traditional three-dimensional perspectives. I’ve begun to fracture singular shaped canvases into multiple shapes that relate to each other tangentially. Connected to each other at points, they shift, lean and pull away from each other, at times creating voids and linear creases, forged when two adjacent panels are bolted together. The viewing experience abets the prospect of uncoupling previous histories from identifying unfamiliar forms.

 

 

 

 

Silent Treatment

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Sided Disposition

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

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Dreams And Flying Machines

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

 

 

 

 

Peter And The Wolf

2016
oil on shaped canvas
ca. 37 by 75.5 in.  (91,4 by 191,8 cm)

 

private collection

 

 

 

 

A Better Mouse Trap

2016
oil on shaped canvas
ca. 63 by 66 in.  (160 by 167,6 cm)

 

 

 

 

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 uses this tactic in works of varying scales. Night Twitch and Night Baptism (both shown lower on this page) seem like an inverted mirrored pair, each set in tension with the other, their surfaces arrayed with the gestures of Smith’s markmaking, their curved edges rolling away from and under the other. Although black at first glance, they are in fact studies in tone and texture, filled with chiaroscuro, subtle plays of both stillness and motion.

Smith’s painting Night Mass (shown on left), an intimate 27 by 27 inch work, continues this exploration, its surface filled with subtle geometric shapes that emerge at the top and the hint of a horizon line lower. This oscillation between abstraction and the use of concrete forms creates and even more discernible tension within each work.

Smith’s understandings of pictorial space in abstraction come roaring forward in another new work,  Night at the Orchestra (shown lower on this page), which takes the depths of Night Mass and adds a spatial geometry, pushing forward and into the viewers’ space.  Copy Cat (shown lower
on this page), a new 48 x 48 inch painting, literally feels as if it could leap off the wall. Its forms seem as if they could reflect, veil and reveal at precisely the same moment as Smith 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. They are both wondrous and comforting.

 

 

 


Only A Paper Moon

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

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tall Tales

2015
oil on shaped canvas
ca. 30.5 by 24.5 in. (77,5 by 62,2 cm)

 

 

 

 

 


Street Fight

2015
oil on shaped canvas
ca. 75 by 100 in. (190,5 by 254 cm

 

private collection

 

 

 

 

 



Ready or Not

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

 

 

 

 


Beast With Two Backs

2015
oil on shaped canvas
ca. 66 by 66 in. (167,6 by 167,6 cm)

 private collection

 

 

 

 

 



Night Mass


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


 

 

 




The Nightmare

2013
oil on shaped canvas
ca. 66 by 66 in. (167,6 by 167,6 cm)

 







Bather

2011
oil on linen
ca. 26 by 26 in.

 

 

 

 



Near Window

2011
oil on linen
ca. 26 by 26 in.










How Long Has This Been Going On

2012
oil on canvas
ca. 40 by 60 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.