Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Accent Black

Artist:
Leon Polk Smith (American, Chickasha, Oklahoma 1906–1996 New York, New York)
Date:
1949
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
42 x 31 in. (106.7 x 78.7 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Lejwa, 1971
Accession Number:
1971.166
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 912
Smith’s composition inventively blends aspects of American Indian design and geometric abstraction. Born to part Cherokee parents in
the Oklahoma Territory, Smith grew up among the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations. The colors and forms in this work evoke traditional Pueblo design, including zigzag patterns on pottery (often symbolizing rain clouds), and stepped ceremonial architecture, called "kivas." The grid in Accent Black also shows the influence of Piet Mondrian, whose work Smith initially saw at Albert E. Gallatin’s Gallery of Living Art at New York University.
Inscription: Signed and dated (verso): Leon P. Smith/ 1949
Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Lejwa, New York (by 1970–71; their gift to MMA)

New York. Pinacotheca Gallery. "Leon P. Smith," May 13–28, 1949.

New York. Sidney Janis Gallery. "Post–Mondrian Painters in America, 1949," May 16–June 11, 1949, no catalogue.

New York. Galerie Chalette. "Leon Polk Smith: Geometric Paintings, 1945–1953," November 7–December 1970, not in brochure.

Brooklyn Museum. "Leon Polk Smith: American Painter," September 29, 1995–January 7, 1996, unnumbered cat.

Related Objects

The River

Artist: Leon Polk Smith (American, Chickasha, Oklahoma 1906–1996 New York, New York) Date: 1961 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 1981.505 On view in:Not on view

Untitled

Artist: Leon Polk Smith (American, Chickasha, Oklahoma 1906–1996 New York, New York) Date: 1957 Medium: Paper Accession: 2011.370 On view in:Not on view

No. 3

Artist: Mark Rothko (American (born Russia), Dvinsk 1903–1970 New York) Date: 1953 Medium: Oil on canvas Accession: 2006.32.55 On view in:Gallery 921