LSU Museum of Art Presents “LeRoy Neiman: Action!” Exhibit Aug 2, 2014 – Jan. 17, 2015
BATON ROUGE – From Aug. 2, 2014 to Jan. 17, 2015, the LSU Museum of Art presents “LeRoy Neiman: Action!,” an exhibition that showcases the work of singular American artist and sports illustrator LeRoy Neiman.
Neiman is widely considered among the most virtuosic American sports illustrators of the 20th century. His dynamic representations of athletes and entertainers at play defined an era, with his drawings, paintings and prints gracing everything from Wheaties boxes to Sports Illustrated covers.
“LeRoy Neiman: Action!” presents more than 80 of Neiman’s most electrifying drawings, paintings and prints of iconic American sports stars and entertainers, showcasing many of Neiman’s most dynamic and rarely seen drawings for the first time in decades. These energetic portrayals of bodies-in-motion illustrate the physical prowess of America’s greatest athletes and performers, ranging from LSU basketball star Pete Maravich to New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath and boxer Muhammad Ali. As Neiman wrote, reflecting on his star-studded artistic career, “I’ve met and sketched most of the great [American] athletes…and their movement, grace and energy have kept me captivated.”
With his distinctive handlebar mustache and ever-present cigar, Neiman was a fixture at NFL Super Bowls, World Series events and prize-fights throughout the second half of the
20th century, serving as the official artist of five Olympiads and the artist-in-residence for the New York Jets during their historic 1969 season. His drawings were often made on-the-spot from the dugouts and sidelines, and captured defining moments in the history of American athletics with a skill and power that continues to move people throughout the world. As Neiman wrote, “I was good at capturing on-the-spot action and making it jump off the page.”
“Neiman’s art combines the technical virtuosity of a by-gone age with a feisty and thoroughly modern populism… And Neiman’s gods, his champions, are not the champions of the elite, but of the common man,” said Tomas Vu-Daniel, the LeRoy Neiman Professor of Professional Practice in Visual Arts at Columbia University. “They are the heroes of average American women and men; average people who, to Neiman, are also imbued with heroism and beauty, and who he also immortalized in his drawings.”
Highlighting Neiman’s astonishing technical skill, the exhibition also speaks to sports’ influential role in shaping American culture and society.
“LeRoy Neiman is an artist whose work exemplifies the strong ties between art and athletics, and the importance of sports in American art and culture,” said Kenneth O. Miles from the LSU Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes. “I applaud the LSU Museum of Art for bringing an exhibition of this caliber to Baton Rouge, a city where athletics is really at the center of cultural life.”
“With its affiliation to a school whose athletic program is one of the finest in the nation, the LSU Museum of Art sought to marry athletics with excellence in art,” said LSU Museum of Art Executive Director Jordana Pomeroy. “’LeRoy Neiman: Action!’ explores the work of an artist who was an acute observer, embedding himself with athletes on the playing field and expressing the penetrating effect of music. We are privileged to serve as the organizing venue for the first museum exhibition after Neiman’s death two years ago.”
“LeRoy Neiman: Action!” is organized and curated by the staff of the LSU Museum of Art. The works in the exhibition are being lent by the LeRoy Neiman Foundation.
The LSU Museum of Art is located in downtown Baton Rouge at 100 Lafayette Street, on the fifth floor of the Shaw Center for the Arts. General admission is $5 each for adults and children age 13 and over. Admission is free to university faculty, staff, and students with ID, children age 12 and under, and museum members. Hours of operation are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.lsumoa.org or call 225-389-7200.
For more information on education programs tied to the exhibit or to schedule a tour, please contact Lucy Perera, LSU Museum of Art coordinator of school and community programs, at email@example.com or call 225-389-7207.
Contact Jeff English
LSU Museum of Art
Contact Aaron Looney
LSU Media Relations