On the occasion of the exhibition Leon Polk Smith: Endless Space, Gray hosted a panel discussion joining distinguished scholars and curators David J. Getsy (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and Jonathan David Katz (State University of New York, Buffalo) in conversation with Art in America Editor-in-Chief William Smith. The discussion took place at Gray Warehouse on Saturday, September 21 at 12:00 PM.
The panelists' dialogue engages with the many themes surrounding Leon Polk Smith: Endless Space, a solo exhibition surveying Smith's iconic Correspondence and Constellation paintings which he produced over a twenty-year span between the late 1950s and the 1970s. Characterized by their interactive, multipart compositions, these paintings have come to be known as the artist’s signature works. In addition to examining the impact of Smith’s formal ingenuity, the panelists will consider how biographical elements prevail within the artist’s work, analyzing Smith’s compositions through the lenses of queer theory and the artist’s Native American heritage. This expanded frame of personal and conceptual reference will seek to further expand on some of Smith’s under-explored legacies as a pioneer of hard-edge abstraction and major influence on many generations of artists.
Artwork © Leon Polk Smith Foundation. Video © Gray, Chicago/New York. Production and Editing: David Sampson.