August 1, 2022
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“Hughie Lee Smith” at Karma, New York
The late artist Hughie Lee-Smith’s works are a compelling combination of social realism with a surrealist tinge, informed equally by his years working for the Works Progress Administration and as a painter in the Navy, and by the reality of 20th-century life in America. Scenes of carnivals and beach-front jaunts are not the colorful tableaux one might expect, but are painted in a muted palette and feel distinctly isolated. Lee-Smith’s career took him from the Midwest, where he encountered artists like Charles White, Gordon Parks, and Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, to the East Coast, where he ultimately worked as an instructor at the Art Students League of New York and was an artist-in-residence at Howard University. The solo exhibition at Karma is accompanied by a new illustrated monograph with texts by Steve Lock, Hilton Als, and Lauren Haynes.
Location: Karma, 22 East 2nd Street, New York
Time: Opening reception, Wednesday, 6 p.m.–8 p.m.; Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.