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One of the master's most famous works!1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics 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 work, 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 expressionistic 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 willl see tremendous opportunity here, an image that ranks with the most recognizable of the master's vast catalog as it has been widely reproduced in serigraph format, selling for several thousand dollars each. But there is only one original, and that work is proudly offered here.
The massive 72x48" oil on board is one of Neiman's more daring and effective efforts, pairing a flag and palm tree-strewn lower landscape with a dazzling collage of athletes as famous as any to have represented the United States in international competition. Among the noteworthy figures captured in Neiman's bold palette are diver Greg Louganis, hurdler Edwin Moses, gymnast Mary Lou Retton and, wearing the number "9" jersey for the American basketball Gold Medalists, a twenty-one year old Michael Jordan.
The work presents without any flaws worthy of mention, professionally framed to final dimensions of 79x55".
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas