Leon Polk-Smith

Leon Polk Smith (1906-1996) was an American painter. His geometrically oriented abstract paintings were influenced by Piet Mondrian and his style has been associated with the Hard-edge school, of which he is considered one of the founders.

Smith was born near Chickasha, Oklahoma a year before it became a state, to parents who were part Cherokee. He grew up among American Indians of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes. He graduated from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma in 1934. He moved to New York City in 1936, where he attended Columbia University, and remained in New York for the rest of his life.

Much of Smith’s work was inspired by American Indian artistic traditions and he frequently used canvases which were round or other non-standard shapes.



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