A new original exhibition, Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight, which opens on Feb. 4, will be displayed through May 31 at the Heard Museum.
Leon Polk Smith, among the great American artists of the 20th century, according to a press release, has been studied and celebrated through major exhibitions, publications and scholarship over many years, but a “significant source of inspiration and influence on his artistic production remains largely unexplored.”
Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight chronicles the artist’s life through American Indian culture in his native Oklahoma, becoming one of America’s most accomplished painters and a founding icon of midcentury modern art and design.
Leon Polk Smith was a renowned Modernist painter and one of the founders of the Hard-edge Painting Movement, an art form of the late 1950s and ’60s that emphasized geometric forms in bright colors.
The exhibition will illustrate how his paintings connect with the colors and patterns of Southern Plains beadwork, ribbon work and painted hides since he talked about how he “grew up in the Southwest, where the colors in nature were pure and rampant, and where my Indian neighbors and relatives used color to vibrate and shock,” the release said.
“Indian Territory was a place of creativity, lawlessness and invention. Leon Polk Smith has rewritten the narrative of place in the endless horizons, single lines and hard edges of his work,” said Joe Baker, guest curator of Leon Polk Smith: Hiding in Plain Sight, in a prepared statement.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://heard.org/leonpolksmith.