In The Thick of It
Leslie Smith III is an artist based in Madison, Wisconsin. Smith’s interests lie in our conscious effort to alter personal perception. Recent works explore abstraction’s inherent personal and political properties as they relate to broadening notions of Black representation. Leslie Smith III earned a BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA at the Yale School of Art. Smith exhibits nationally and internationally. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond; the Birmingham Museum of Art; the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Birmingham; and the FRAC Auvergne, France. Smith is a Full Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Joan Mitchell Fellowship, 2022
As an African American abstractionist, I create paintings that provoke perceived experiences. I am interested in the conscious effort to alter personal perception, to shift how something foreign or different is seen. My paintings explore themes of compatibility, transparency, resentment, and opaqueness as characteristics that influence how we interact with people.”