Leslie Smith III


Leslie Smith III (b. 1985) was born in Silver Spring, MD and lives and works in Madison, WI.

Smith’s interests lie in our conscious effort to alter personal perception. Recent works explore Abstraction’s inherent personal and political properties as they relate to broadening notions of Black representation and expression. Smith creates paintings with a mindset that it’s possible to present a new interpretation of contemporary abstraction. One with expectations of a different sensibility than that offered by the 1950’s and 60’s, he offers an alternative worldview; one of inclusion and acceptance. 

Leslie Smith III earned a BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art and an MFA at the Yale School of Art. Smith exhibits nationally and internationally. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond; the Birmingham Museum of Art; the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Birmingham, AL; and the FRAC Auvergne, France. Smith is currently a Full Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a recent 2022 Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellow.