Janet Borden Inc. opens an exhibition of works by Alfred Leslie

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Janet Borden Inc. opens an exhibition of works by Alfred Leslie
Alfred Leslie, Hoboken Oval, 1953/1984/2021. Detail from six panel piece, each 96" x 48", oil on grounded Sintra; newsprint. Unique.

NEW YORK, NY.- Janet Borden, Inc. is presenting Alfred Leslie: Hoboken Oval…and more. The exhibition will run from 2 February through 24 March 2023. The exhibition was planned with Mr. Leslie before his unexpected death.

Alfred Leslie was a working artist in New York for over seven decades. He has made paintings, drawings, movies, sculptures, and photographs. His newest works are what he called Pixel Scores, digital drawings printed as dye sublimation prints.

The original Hoboken Oval was an oil painting on masonite panels, made between 1952 and 1953, then later destroyed by an irate boyfriend of Grace Hartigan while moving them between galleries. A six-panel version was created in 1984 to replace the original. These marks capture the lucidity of stripes, but still manage to remain within the field of Abstract Expressionism. He uses multiple planes, newspaper, and ground to create masterly images that are both abstract and specific. ---Adapted from ArtBeat

His later Pixel Scores, works made by drawing on the computer, and printed as dye sublimation prints, are again studies in mark making. The subject of these portraits are characters from the many many books he read voraciously.

Hoboken Stripes is a series of smaller paintings, each approximately 2 x 5 feet.

Controlled but impassioned, the stripes are hand-made, rather than taped or made by a machine. The lines are animated and compelling. In 2010 Leslie reworked the individual panels into separate works and created what we see today. These marks capture the lucidity of stripes, but still manage to remain within the field of Abstraction.

In this exhibition, Linda Moon, from Elmore Leonard’s Be Cool, stands poised with a violin in her hand. Leslie’s facility as a draftsman is as virtuosic as the technology that produced the image. Leslie loved mixing his old work with his new work, and basically saw no difference.

They dynamic strokes found in his painting are reconceived as pixels in the later work. Michael Fried said of Alfred Leslie’s abstract work, “If the protagonist of Notes From Underground were an Abstract Expressionist, he would paint something like this.”

Painter and filmmaker Alfred Leslie was born in the Bronx, New York in 192, and died in 2023 in Brooklyn. In the late 1940s he emerged as a filmmaker and an Abstract Expressionist Painter. In the 1950s and ’60s, he was associated with a community of avant-garde artists and writers, including Joan Mitchell, Larry Rivers, Robert Frank, Jack Kerouac, and Frank O’Hara with whom he often collaborated. His paintings were included in the groundbreaking “16 Americans” exhibition at MoMA in 1959.

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