LEROY NEIMAN: ACTION!
August 1-February 15, 2015
From August 1, 2014 to February 15, 2015, the LSU Museum of Art will present LeRoy Neiman: Action!, an exhibition that showcases the work of singular American artist and sports illustrator LeRoy Neiman. Neiman is widely considered among the most virtuosic American sports illustrators of the twentieth century. His dynamic representations of athletes and entertainers at play defined an era, with his drawings, paintings, and prints gracing everything from Wheaties boxes to Sports Illustrated covers.
LeRoy Neiman: Action! will present over eighty of Neiman’s most electrifying drawings, paintings and prints of iconic American sports stars and entertainers, showcasing many of Neiman’s most dynamic and rarely seen drawings for the first time in decades. These energetic portrayals of bodies-in-motion illustrate the physical prowess of America’s greatest athletes and performers, ranging from LSU basketball star Pete Maravich to New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath and boxer Muhammad Ali. As Neiman wrote, reflecting on his star-studded artistic career, “I’ve met and sketched most of the great [American] athletes…and their movement, grace and energy have kept me captivated.”
With his distinctive handlebar mustache and ever-present cigar, Neiman was a fixture at NFL Super Bowls, World Series events, and prize-fights throughout the second half of the twentieth century, serving as the official artist of five Olympiads and the artist-in-residence for the New York Jets during their historic 1969 season. His drawings were often made on-the-spot from the dugouts and sidelines, and captured defining moments in the history of American athletics with a skill and power that continues to move people throughout the world. As Neiman wrote, “I was good at capturing on-the-spot action and making it jump off the page.”
“Neiman’s art,” writes Tomas Vu-Daniel, The LeRoy Neiman Professor of Professional Practice in Visual Arts at Columbia University, “combines the technical virtuosity of a by-gone age with a feisty and thoroughly modern populism… And Neiman’s gods, his champions, are not the champions of the elite, but of the common man. They are the heroes of average American women and men; average people who—to Neiman—are also imbued with heroism and beauty, and who he also immortalized in his drawings.”
Highlighting Neiman’s astonishing technical skill, the exhibition will also speak to sports’ influential role in shaping American culture and society. “LeRoy Neiman,” writes Kenneth O. Miles from the LSU Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes, “is an artist whose work exemplifies the strong ties between art and athletics, and the importance of sports in American art and culture. I applaud the LSU Museum of Art for bringing an exhibition of this caliber to Baton Rouge, a city where athletics is really at the center of cultural life.”
“With its affiliation to a school whose athletic program is one of the finest in the nation, the LSU Museum of Art sought to marry athletics with excellence in art,” stated LSU Museum of Art Executive Director, Jordana Pomeroy. “LeRoy Neiman: Action! explores the work of an artist who was an acute observer, embedding himself with athletes on the playing field and expressing the penetrating effect of music. We are privileged to serve as the organizing venue for the first museum exhibition after Neiman’s death two years ago.”
LeRoy Neiman: Action! is organized and curated by the staff of the LSU Museum of Art. The works in the exhibition are being lent by the LeRoy Neiman Foundation.
LeRoy Neiman: Action! was made possible through the generous support of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation, Richard and Claire Manship, Matthew and Sherri McKay, Kim and Mike Wampold, Gail and Bill O’Quin, and Fran and Leroy Harvey.
Image credit: Top: LeRoy Neiman, Superbowl XXVIII at the Georgia Dome, 1994, Courtesy of LeRoy Neiman Foundation. Left to right: LeRoy Neiman, Joe Montana, 1989, Courtesy of LeRoy Neiman Foundation; LeRoy sketching at Gators game, 1994, Courtesy of LeRoy Neiman Foundation, Copyright Lynn Quayle; LeRoy Neiman, The Catch, 1991, Courtesy of LeRoy Neiman Foundation
CALLING ALL SHAQ FANS!
For a limited time only, we are selling a very special serigraph print by legendary artist LeRoy Neiman, depicting basketball great and LSU alumnus Shaquille O'Neal! This limited-edition work shows Shaq in his close up slam dunk pose and is signed by both Shaq and the artist himself. This beautifully framed print is numbered 60/82 and measures 51”x36”. The LeRoy Neiman Foundation has very generously donated this work to support the work of the LSU Museum of Art.
$3250 plus $150 for shipping. Discounts do not apply.
For more information, call LeAnn Dusang at (225) 389-7210
Left: LeRoy Neiman, Shaq, 2000, Courtesy of LeRoy Neiman Foundation.
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