16 x 18.5 x 6.5 inches
bright yellow, light blue, pastel pink, and periwinkle purple painted wood and fiberglass
This small, contemporary abstract sculpture made of brightly painted wood and fiberglass is perfectly suited for a tabletop, pedestal, or mantle piece. Curved pieces of fiberglass in colorful blurts of bright yellow, light blue, light pink, and periwinkle form into a single abstract shape that exposes exciting shadows and changing angles at every perspective. This mid century modern sculpture was created by Hudson Valley base artist, Leon Smith, as a small scale version of a larger outdoor installation. The wood base featured in the photos is part of the sculpture.
Why I construct sculptures is somewhat of a mystery to me. I suspect, in some ways, it is a continuation of childhood play, where invention, improvisation and often a sense of mischief, are a key. The simple abstract shapes that I choose to work with give me the greatest freedom to manipulate and discover new forms without being bound by specific representational imagery.
The opposing qualities of form are what engage me most. Balance vs. precariousness, stability vs. movement, and the organic vs. the inorganic. I play with these elements until another dimension appears and until the form is pleasing to me. I'm partial to the double take, the paradox, but only if the work's formal qualities con sustain interest and delight over a long period of time.
About the artist:
Born in Australia, it was Smith's first career as a dentist that taught him to make carvings and moldings. His sense of humor and that of his wife, Elaine, are at the epicenter of Smith's playful designs and titles. Riffing on simple, abstract shapes gives him the freedom to discover new forms and ideas. "The opposing qualities of form are what engage me most. Balance versus precariousness, stability versus movement, and the organic versus the inorganic. I'm partial to the double take, the paradox, but only if the work's formal qualities can sustain interest and delight over a long period of time". Smith's childlike energy knows no bounds, producing work that is at once amusing and sophisticated. Sure, he's 83 years old, but hold on tight when he drives you around in his golf cart! Touring the grounds of his studio and outdoor sculpture park in the Hudson Valley is no less thrilling than riding around with the Mad Hatter at Disneyland. (Please contact the gallery directly for information on tours). With the help of studio assistant and fabricator, John Brunese, many of Smith's spirited prototypes have been adapted for the outdoors. So while this exhibition will feature mostly small sculpture made of wood, steel, aluminum other material, take note that most are available in the 12 foot version. Carrie Haddad met the artist back in the late 90s and she admits, I love Leon and his work just as much today as I did back then. You have to come see for yourself!