LeRoy Neiman's appeal to both critical and popular audiences is nearly matchless with respect to longevity, consistency and sustained success. For both substance and style, LeRoy Neiman is immediately recognizable: a visual chronicler of humanity at sport and play, delivered with a bold, colorful palette. LeRoy Neiman's images have graced the walls of museums and galleries, clubs and private homes. LeRoy Neiman is egalitarian in his thematic choices, for although LeRoy Neiman has gained a considerable reputation for representing society's creme de la creme - aristocrats, celebrities, major sports figures - LeRoy Neiman is as much interested in the activities of more ordinary folk - barkeepers and showgirls, stableboys and beachgoers. It is the vitality of the moment that captures Leroy Neiman's attention and which LeRoy Nieman, in turn, communicates to a worldwide audience.
Since LeRoy Neiman's entry to the art world in the early 1950's, LeRoy Neiman's singular style has excited the imagination by translating feeling into form with bold line, brilliant color and complex composition. The gesture, the event, became paramount in importance. LeRoy Neiman embraced the conceptual framework of the movement, but didn't abandon the figurative element. Upon close inspection, a LeRoy Neiman image appears to be a convergence of abstract shapes. It is distance that resolves the shapes into dynamic figures - people and animals that move and interact with an energy that seems barely contained.
Following his Army service, LeRoy Neiman returned to the United States in 1946, and developed his artistic talent through formal education at the St. Paul Art Center (now the Minnesota Museum of Art) and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Two seminal influences in LeRoy Neiman's career developed during his time in Chicago. The first was his appearance at sporting events, where LeRoy Neiman would paint or draw the athletes, the coaches and the competitions. Secondly, through LeRoy Neiman's friendship with a publisher named Hugh Hefner, LeRoy Neiman began to regularly contribute original artwork to a controversial new magazine called Playboy.
LeRoy Neiman's long and fruitful association with Playboy was the springboard for some of his most distinguished work. From the 1950's through the 1970's, LeRoy Neiman traveled around the world "on assignment" from Playboy, chronicling the liveliest aspects of society and sport. He created a body of paintings for the "Man of Leisure" series that would later become known as the renowned "Playboy Collection." As other major publications took to featuring his work and through his association with ABC Television as the official artist of the Olympics, LeRoy Neiman achieved an unprecedented level of popularity with the public.
LeRoy Neiman is generally considered to be the most popular painter and printmaker in America. LeRoy Neiman is best known for his depictions of sporting events and leisure activities. With his unique style, LeRoy Neiman is one of the few 20th Century artists who has become a household name in many American homes.
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