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Leroy Neiman memorial exhibition opens at Franklin Bowles Gallery
Willie Mays, Acrylic and Enamel on Board 22 x 33, circa 1970.

NEW YORK, NY.- LeRoy Neiman, America’s favorite artist who died in 2012, had a truly extraordinary career. For decades he mingled freely with the great achievers, entertainers, and sports celebrities of our times—from Hugh Hefner and Frank Sinatra to Muhammad Ali. Since the early 1970s, Franklin Bowles Galleries has been there with LeRoy, bringing his colorful, emblematic images of American culture to art collectors around the world. The gallery believes that LeRoy Neiman captured the essential character and dynamic energy of the people he depicted better than any other artist of his generation, and that he will be fondly remembered for that achievement for generations to come.

Franklin Bowles Galleries celebrate the life and legacy of LeRoy Neiman with a Memorial Exhibition this year. The galleries honor this remarkable American artist with a major exhibition of his work. As the exclusive representative of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation and the world’s leading authority and source for Neiman paintings, watercolors, drawings, and serigraphs, the galleries intend to do so in a style befitting the man being honored. The galleries are mounting exciting original artworks, created on paper, board and canvas, at both their San Francisco and New York locations; many of the major works on paper were chosen from LeRoy’s personal collection.

LeRoy Neiman has been described as the most popular living painter in America. While strikingly original, his work reflects the varied influences of Toulouse-Lautrec, Dufy, the New York Social Realists, and the Abstract Expressionists. Probably best known as a portrayer of sporting and social events, he virtually invented the modern genre of sports art and remains its most accomplished and acclaimed practitioner.

Among many other accomplishments, he was the first and only on-camera official artist for ABC-TV at the Olympics in Munich, 1972 and Montreal, 1976, and covered several other winter and summer Olympiads as an official artist. He was the first artist to create live, on-camera computer art while covering the 1978 Super Bowl in New Orleans for CBS-TV. In 1997 he was selected as the first official artist of the Kentucky Derby. But Neiman's interests range far and wide. As a painter, printmaker, and author, his subjects have included Parisian cafés, African safaris, famous bars, five-star restaurants, urban street scenes, the opera, political figures, jazz musicians, entertainers, stage and screen stars, gambling casinos, portraits, international stock exchanges, and much more.

Neiman is the author of thirteen books: Horses, LeRoy Neiman Posters, Winners, which was also published in Japanese, Big Time Golf, LeRoy Neiman: An American in Paris, LeRoy Neiman on Safari, and LeRoy Neiman: Five Decades, all published by Harry N. Abrams, as well as Art and Life Style, Carnaval, Monte Carlo Chase, Casey at the Bat, and the newly-released limited edition LeRoy Neiman Sketchbook: Liston vs. Clay 1964/ Ali vs. Liston 1965, 2004. All Told was Neiman’s autobiography and last book, released just before the artists death in 2012.

Over the years the artist has donated scores of his artworks to dozens of charitable causes and organizations. Through his work with the Good Tidings Foundation, two LeRoy Neiman Art Centers for Youth have been built in elementary schools in California. In 1995, he gave the School of the Arts at Columbia University in New York City an endowment of $6 million to create the LeRoy Neiman Center for Print Studies, dedicated to the study of fine-art printmaking and the development of new methods of printmaking, and including a scholarship program. A 1998 donation led to the creation of the LeRoy Neiman Center for the Study of American Culture and Society at UCLA.

Neiman's work is represented in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum, the Minneapolis Museum of Art, the Hermitage of St. Petersburg and numerous other museums and public and private collections worldwide. A past member of the New York City Advisory Commission for Cultural Affairs, Neiman has received five honorary degrees and, among other honors, an Award of Merit from the American Athletic Union, a Gold Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, in addition to being named Boxing Artist of 1966 by Lonsdale, London.

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May 20, 2013

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