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Exhibition runs through February 12, 2021

Opening Reception Daytime Hours: 11AM - 5PM, Saturday October 3, 2020

Opening Reception Cocktail Hours: 5PM - 9PM, Saturday October 3, 2020 


(Opening reception hours and regular hours will be by appointment only. For additional information on how to schedule an appointment and Covid guidelines, last section of press release) * 

Hawthorn Contemporary is pleased to announce the opening of We Still Play With Blocks: Paintings from 2014-17 featuring Madison, Wisconsin based painter Leslie Smith III. We Still Play With Blocks: Paintings from 2014-17 accumulates three years of work from Smith highlighting an abstract language through the use of non-traditional shaped canvas and the converging of multiple panels. 

Smith’s unconventional approach to painting challenges the canons of contemporary abstraction. Fracturing the singular canvas into multiple connected canvases, Smith re-adjusts the viewer’s pictorial sensibilities. The individual shapes of each canvas creates both tension and connectivity within the work and gives space for interpretation from the viewer. This innovative method to the two dimensional surface cultivates emotion and understanding into interpersonal relationships which “mediates meaningful experiences by fostering curiosity and anxiety in questioning how to approach it.” 

Leslie Smith III is an oil-based painter. His studio practice is centered on employing abstraction to communicate the poetics and nuance of a human experience. Smith received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art and received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University School of Art. Smith exhibits both national and internationally.


Recent exhibitions include paintings at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and solo exhibitions with Maus Contemporary in Birmingham, AL and Galerie Isabelle Gounod in Paris, France. His work can be found in the permanent collection of the High Museum of Art and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Smith is an Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


Hawthorn Contemporary, located in the historic Walker’s Point neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is an art venue dedicated to presenting experimental and exploratory contemporary art. 

Tour Exhibition Virtually:


*Gallery Hours By Appointment Only: 

Opening Reception Daytime Hours: 11AM - 5PM

(Saturday October 3, 2020) 

Regular Daytime Hours: 11AM - 4PM

(Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday Schedule) 

Appointment Here:

Opening Reception Cocktail Hours: 5PM - 9PM

(Saturday October 3, 2020) 

Regular Cocktail Hours: 5PM - 9PM (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday Schedule) 

Appointment Here:


*Covid Guidelines

1. Arrive at the front door located at 706 South 5th Street, Milwaukee, WI Hawthorn Contemporary. Wait to be let in. If the gallery is at capacity, you may have to wait until the previous group has departed.


2. Please be prepared with a mask and to get your temperature checked before entering. 

3. You will then be allowed to explore the gallery for the duration of the timeslot you've scheduled. If there are gaps in the schedule, you may be permitted to extend your stay. 

4. If beverages are being served during the event you are attending, please try and re-affix your face-covering in between sips. 

5. Enjoy the show!


706 5th St

Milwaukee, WI 53204 USA


by appointment:

Wednesday - Saturday

11am - 4pm

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