Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    LEE N. SMITH III (American, b. 1950)
    Blocks and Sticks, 1988
    Oil on canvas
    48 x 67-1/4 inches (121.9 x 170.8 cm)
    Signed, titled, and dated verso: Blocks and Sticks / 2/88 Paris / LN Smith III

    In 1984, Lee N. Smith III, primarily a self-taught artist, was selected as one of twenty-four artists to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale. Born in New Orleans, Smith moved at age six to the semi-rural outskirts of East Dallas. The suburban landscape has inspired a majority of Smith's works. Behind rows of nearly identical houses were acres of hayfields that provided an ever-changing playground for Lee and his friends. When the hay was bound into bales, they first thought their idyllic setting was ruined. In Lee's words, ". . .then we realized the immense potential of these bales--bricks surely as large and as heavy as the Egyptians must have used. With these blocks, and our strength alone, we built monumental fortresses that could be seen for miles across the now-flattened landscape." Doubtless drawn from his childhood memories, Blocks and Sticks presents a surreal and timeless narrative that depicts a group of green-skinned boys lifting an orange bale of hay.

    Smith's works are represented in private and institutional collections throughout the country including: Dallas Museum of Art; Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth; Tyler Museum of Art; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

    Condition Report*: Minor paint loss along central left edge of canvas, otherwise excellent condition.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,239

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold on Nov 20, 2008 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 May 17 Silver & Vertu Signature® Auction .

    Learn about consigning with us

    The high price received is a direct reflection of your hard work and integrity.
    Richard B.,
    Ogden, UT
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search