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    Description

    1983 Wayne Gretzky Original Painting by LeRoy Neiman. One need only refer to the Permanent Auction Archives of our website to witness the soaring trajectory of Neiman sales in recent years. While there's no question that the ninety-one year old artist's passing in June 2012 has fermented interest in Neiman's distinctive style, the trend owes far more to the greater shift in the American art market that has seen enormous gains in the commercial art of painters from Joseph Leyendecker to Gil Elvgren to Norman Rockwell. A new generation of art collectors has come to realize that the upturned noses of their predecessors toward such artists had been an error in need of correction, and that a commission for The Saturday Evening Post or the cover of a boxing program did not preclude a work's assignment under the heading of "Fine Art."

    Neiman's ebullient impressionistic style has enjoyed decades of popularity among the general male population since his buddy Hugh Hefner gave him his start at Playboy, and he quickly became synonymous with sports art, creating program covers for Heavyweight Championship fights, the Indy 500 and the World Series. But we still find ourselves near the very beginning of his wider acceptance in the rarefied air of galleries from Soho to Beverly Hills, suggesting the real pricing boom is still around the corner.

    Those believing that Neiman's path will mirror those of Rockwell and Elvgren will see tremendous opportunity here, in this arresting study of hockey's most celebrated figure. The 1983 date finds The Great One engaged in the heart of his Edmonton tour of duty, capturing every individual player trophy in the book, as well as the Stanley Cup in 1983-84.

    We love Neiman's inventive use of the edge of a palette knife here to cut skate trails through the various shades of blue of the rink, while the construction of Gretzky's form is the classic format of quick-and-thick paint application that serves as his hallmark. The oil on board work measures 10x14", and is linen-matted and framed to final dimensions of approximately 19x23". The original 1986 sale paperwork from a well-regarded San Francisco gallery is included. Sale paperwork from Bowles/Hopkins Gallery.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2020
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 29
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,292

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