Constellations - On the Relationship between Color and Space
From today's perspective, Leon Polk Smith's dynamic, geometric abstractions can be understood as a missing link in art history. His work connects the European avant-garde with the American Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s and 1950s via references to the work of Piet Mondrian. Smith's pioneering role in the hard-edge style with its neat monochromatic fields of color as well as his shaped canvases are in turn developments that transpired from America to Europe. Departing from the rectangular canvas allowed Smith to conceive new interrelations between his sophisticated two-color compositions and the spatial context. Most notably, his unique Constellations series, created between 1967 and 1975, marks the high point of his career, and won him artistic acclaim beyond America's borders. Alongside the early compositions from the 1940s and the multi-part shaped canvases, this book features collages, reliefs and painted objects and proposes a new reception of Smith's decades-spanning oeuvre.