Leroy Neiman (American, 1921-2012), "Regatta of the Gondoliers", color – Lofty Marketplace
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Leroy Neiman (American, 1921-2012), "Regatta of the Gondoliers", color screenprint on wove paper, signed, AP, 1978

Leroy Neiman (American, 1921-2012), "Regatta of the Gondoliers", color screenprint on wove paper, signed, AP, 1978

Product Description:

Artist's proof (from the edition of 300); editioned in pencil "A.P." lower left, signed lower right, published by Styria Studio, 1978, with publisher's blind stamp, including Certificate of Authenticity from Collier Art Corporation, Los Angeles, California, matted and framed with plexiglass facing

Dimensions:

Image: Height 26 in. x Width 35.5 in.

Frame: Height 48.25 x Width 39.5 in.

Condition:

The print with slight discoloration due to age; frame is damaged, with scratches to the plexiglass. Please contact cataloging@lofty.com for specific condition questions and to request a full condition report. Not examined out of the frame.

Provenance:

Private collection

About The Artist:

LeRoy Neiman was an American artist known for creating artworks depicting popular subjects including sporting events, famous musicians, and iconic cities. Neiman's art, which he created until his death in 2012 at age ninety-one, appealed to a broad audience by gracefully walking the line between commercial illustration and fine art.

Neiman was born LeRoy Rundquist in 1921 in St. Paul, Minnesota. After his father, a railroad worker, deserted the family while Neiman was still young, Neiman took the surname of his stepfather. Neiman attended a Roman Catholic school, where his talent for art emerged at a young age. He often gave pen and ink tattoos to his classmates, created posters for school events, and in sixth grade, won a prize in a national art competition. To earn money, Neiman created store window illustrations for local grocers.

In 1942, Neiman enlisted in the United States Army, where he served as a cook and kept morale high by painting erotic murals on the mess hall walls. After World War II ended, Neiman was stationed in Germany, where he painted sets for Red Cross-sponsored shows as part of the Special Services division. In his book, "LeRoy Neiman: Art and Life Style", the artist wrote "if nothing else, the army completely confirmed me as an artist."

After leaving the army, Neiman studied at the St. Paul School of Art (presently the Minnesota Museum of American Art) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he worked as a teacher while doing freelance illustration throughout the 1950s. It was during this time that Neiman experienced a breakthrough in his work. While experimenting with discarded half-empty cans of house paint, Neiman discovered that the freely flowing paint allowed him to use fast moving strokes to convey action and gesture in his paintings in a way that acrylic and oils did not.

Through his freelance work for the Carson Pirie Scott department store in Chicago, Illinois, Neiman became acquainted with Hugh Hefner, a young copywriter who would go on to publish Playboy Magazine. After 1954, Neiman became a regular contributor to the magazine, and invented the famous Femlin character in 1955, a curvaceous nude siren gracing the "party jokes" section of every issue. Neiman also wrote the "Man at His Leisure" feature, where the artist was sent all over the world to attend cultural events, reporting back with colorful illustrations. Later, as Playboy gained more notoriety, Neiman painted more than 100 works and two murals for the eighteen Playboy brand clubs that Hefner opened worldwide.

Neiman's artworks depicting sporting events brought him the greatest artistic fame. From the 1960s to 80s, he covered several Olympic games, creating live sketches of the events on television. For the 1978 and 1979 Super Bowls, CBS hired Neiman to draw the action live on screen using a special electronic pen. Neiman was also prolific in sports portraiture, painting beloved athletes including the boxer Muhammad Ali and football player Joe Namath, as well as other celebrities and cultural icons such as the actor and director Sylvester Stallone, who gave Neiman cameo roles in three of the "Rocky" films.

Neiman received many awards throughout his career, including an Award of Merit from the American Athletic Union, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and four honorary degrees. In 1995, he became a member of the New York City Advisory Commission for Cultural Affairs, and in the same year donated $6 million to the School of the Arts at Columbia University in New York City, which was used to create the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies.

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