Seasons LA presents ‘Going Somewhere? A Selection of Works by LeRoy Neiman’ at the 2022 edition of Future Fair, New York.
LeRoy Neiman (1921–2012) was an American artist who lived and worked in New York, achieving global notoriety for his brilliantly colored, expressionist paintings and screen-prints. Neiman became an icon of twentieth century American art and popular culture. Capturing the great athletes, musicians, and sporting events of his time, from Muhammed Ali to Joe Namath to Secretariat and from Leonard Bernstein to Frank Sinatra to Hugh Hefner, Neiman was renowned for turning celebrity into art. Constantly sketching and creating, Neiman documented everywhere he went and everyone he met. His prolific practice predated the constant digital documentation of our world - he worked throughout his life with pen, pencil, and paint, capturing his daily routines, evening plans, or weekend sojourns.
Seasons LA’s presentation of works on canvas and paper at New York’s Future Art Fair highlights remarkable pieces from the Leroy Neiman Foundation with a focus on nude portraiture and Neiman’s sketches from throughout his travels, reflective of the artist’s crucial contributions from his decades-long collaboration with Playboy Magazine. Brought on by Hefner at the start of the publication in 1955, Neiman illustrated each issue with his renowned “Femlins”, erotic sprites portrayed playfully cavorting within the pages, and produced a 15-year feature for the magazine titled "Man at His Leisure", where Neiman would illustrate his travels to exotic locations. “Playboy made the good life a reality for me” said Neiman in 1962, “and made it the subject matter of my paintings—not affluence and luxury, as such, but joie de vivre itself.”
LeRoy Neiman was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1921. Between his involvement with Playboy and his position as the official artist for three successive Olympic games, Neiman achieved an unprecedented degree of popularity with the American public. After establishing the LeRoy Neiman and Janet Byrne Neiman Foundation in 1986 with his wife, he donated more than 20 million dollars to art institutions and programs that support disadvantaged youth. Today, the Foundation perpetuates the legacy of the acclaimed artist who remembered where he came from and understood the value of giving back. Seasons LA is proud to continue its collaborative relationship with the Foundation, having presented “Age Before Beauty: LeRoy Neiman’s Sketches from the Set of the Rocky Films” in 2020-21 which opened on the 35th anniversary of Rocky IV. LeRoy Neiman’s works on canvas and paper can be found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, among others.