new-york

Leon Polk Smith

Galerie Chalette

To the degree that we are still without a clear picture of the Mondrian-derived abstraction which came to be painted in New York City from the 1930s on, first among the now-neglected heroes of the American Abstract Artists group and then, in the ’40s, among a much wider body of converts, is an historical oversight which the Leon Polk Smith exhibition serves in part to rectify. I await the comprehensive museum survey which would attack the larger problem; or is it that the work, say, of Harry Holtzman, Fritz Glarner, Ilya Bolotowsky, Burgoyne Diller and now, we see, Leon Polk Smith among so many others, hurries us back to the great Theosophical cartographer himself, Mondrian, who, in exile and as a pure abstractionist, gave us the single greatest vision of Times Square we have, Broadway Boogie Woogie.

The Smith exhibition is interesting on a period level. The kind of Mondrianizing that Smith

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