2020 Fine Sporting Art, American Paintings, and Sculpture

148| LeRoy Neiman (American, 1921-2012)

Front Runners

Signed & dated 94′

Oil on board, 30" x 24"

$75000. - $100000.

Provenance: Illustrated in Louisville's Courier Journal, April 9, 1995, page 94, exhibited in A Racing Retrospective: 1962-1994, The Kentucky Derby Museum, April 10-June 3, 1995.

Signed & dated 94'

In 1995 the Kentucky Derby Museum granted LeRoy Neiman a retrospective exhibition spanning 30 years. The same year he was awarded the prestigious commission for two paintings as the official artist of the 123rd Kentucky Derby. ?Front Runners? was completed in 1994, specifically for the exhibition A Racing Retrospective: 1962_1994. Described in an article published in Louisville?s Courier Journal the day before the opening as vintage Neiman, ?Front Runners? is ?full of effect, high-key color, and a sense of motion. One of the famous Twin Spires of Churchill Downs peeks from behind three Thoroughbreds and jockeys charging toward the finish.? In an interview conducted for Wildlife Art Journal, David Wagner, executive director of the Derby Museum at the time, spoke in depth about the prolific artist?s relationship with the city. ?LeRoy knew Louisville well, not only from a long-standing relationship to Thoroughbred horse racing, but also with (boxer Muhammad) Ali, who is from Louisville, and who was a perennial subject of LeRoy?s over the years.? The retrospective was a part of a year-long celebration of the museum?s 10th anniversary and featured portraits of notable horses, jockeys, and trainers.

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