1. Leslie SMITH III
    A Reach Across The Void, 2019
    Oil on shaped canvas
    111 x 80 cm
  2. Leslie SMITH III
    When He Couldn't Part The Sea, 2018
    Oil on shaped canvas
    40,6 x 50,8 cm
  3. Leslie SMITH III
    Lost in Time : Gris' , 2018
    Oil on shaped canvas
    42,5 x 45,7 cm
  4. Leslie SMITH III
    Three Sided Day Dream, 2017
    Oil on shaped canvas
    40,6 x 50,8 cm
  5. Leslie SMITH III
    Consumption I, 2019
    Graphite and Acrylic Collage on Arches Paper
    20,3 x 14,6 cm

    Collection particulière
  6. Leslie SMITH III
    Consumption II, 2019
    Graphite and Acrylic Collage on Arches Paper
    20,3 x 14,6 cm

    Collection particulière
  7. Leslie SMITH III
    Consumption III, 2019
    Graphite and Acrylic Collage on Arches Paper
    20,3 x 14,6 cm
  8. Leslie SMITH III
    Consumption IV, 2019
    Graphite and Acrylic Collage on Arches Paper
    20,3 x 14,6 cm
  9. Leslie SMITH III
    Consumption V, 2019
    Graphite and Acrylic Collage on Arches Paper
    20,3 x 14,6 cm
  10. Leslie SMITH III
    The Gospel of Minimalism n°1, 2018
    Graphite and acrylic on Arches paper
    20,5 x 15 cm
  11. Leslie SMITH III
    The Gospel of Minimalism n°2, 2018
    Graphite and acrylic on Arches paper
    20,5 x 15 cm
  12. Leslie SMITH III
    The Gospel of Minimalism n°3, 2018
    Graphite and acrylic on Arches paper
    20,5 x 15 cm
  13. Leslie SMITH III
    The Gospel of Minimalism n°4, 2018
    Graphite and acrylic on Arches paper
    20,5 x 15 cm
  14. Leslie SMITH III
    The Gospel of Minimalism n°5, 2018
    Graphite and acrylic on Arches paper
    20,5 x 15 cm
  15. Leslie SMITH III
    The Gospel of Minimalism n°6, 2018
    Graphite and acrylic on Arches paper
    20,5 x 15 cm


Introduction

LESLIE SMITH III: A sentimental abstraction

Influenced by the avant-garde and modernist architecture, from which he learnt a certain way of considering painting as an object, a simple form on a wall, Leslie Smith III however stands out with an artistic practice that cannot be reduced to the only abstraction. Rather, he is concerned by a singular form of narrativity. Giving up the human figure, which the artist considers "cumbersome", he prefers the malleability of the abstract signifier, which allows him to abolish the univocal reflex of recognition. Abstraction appears so as an perfect tool for representing the human experience and translating into forms the links that unite or constrain people: "I often try to define characteristics resembling aggression or passivity in one shape or perhaps two shapes joined together. "*

His shaped-canvas and drawings on paper are so establishing radical graphic relationships, whose intensity of colours and subtlety of gradients confer a particularly incarnate and human poetry. And that is precisely in this confusion that the real subject of Leslie Smith III's painting is: a desire to communicate emotions that are both real and abstract, authentic although constructed.

This oscillation between two systems (sentimental versus ideal) must remind us some of the principles of “performatism”, as defined by Raoul Eshelman** and which, borrowing Postmodernism’s rigor, adds to it a sincere desire to share the experience of Beauty, Love, Faith and Transcendence. A fruitful in-between to which Leslie Smith III claims to be entitled and that allows him to achieve a greater diversity of intentions and a higher degree of humanism: "It is easy to find solutions to situations that are clear-cut black and white. My paintings strive to represent the complex grey area we live in. "*


* Extact from an interview with Bridget Gleeson for Artsy (2017)

** cf.  Raoul Eshelman, Performatism or the End of Postmodernism, 2008

Thibault Bissirier, March 2019

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