PRINT January 1980



To the Editor:

I just finished reading Ted Castle’s “Leon Polk Smith: The Completely Self-Referential Object” in the September 1979 issue of Artforum. While I enjoyed Mr. Castle’s article, particularly since it seems to me that Smith’s contribution to American modernism is not sufficiently well known, I believe that Mr. Castle might be interested in knowing the origin of the term “hard-edge.”

The late Jules Langsner in his 1959 Los Angeles County Museum exhibition catalogue entitled Four Abstract Classicists first coined the term “hard-edge” in reference to the California avant-garde paintings of John McLaughlin, Carl Benjamin, Frederick Hammersley, and Lorser Feitelson. Langsner’s exhibition of the works of these artists traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Art and also to the Institute of Contemporary Art in London where presumably Lawrence Alloway saw the exhibition, read the catalogue

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