Lucien Smith Paves an Uncharted Path

Lucien Smith was one of the first visitors at the Parrish Art Museum on Aug. 7. The museum in Water Mill, N.Y., had just reopened from its spring pandemicclosure, unveiling a slate of new exhibitions to welcome guests back to its galleries.

“There’s definitely people here already, which I’m surprised by,” says Smith early that afternoon. Included in the reopened museum’s new exhibitions is Smith’s “Southampton Suite,” 10 final paintings from his early-career “Rain Paintings” series.

The 31-year-old artist was heading into the museum for the second time that day; he’d led a tour of his exhibition earlier that morning. The 10 large canvases, still owned by Smith, have been in storage for the past seven years. The works earmark his swift rise in the art world as a young twentysomething, and they’re marking an important new milestone for the artist now: his first museum show.

“I’ve gotten a lot

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