LeRoy Neiman - Hoosier Hoopla
35 x 27.5 inches, when framed
Signed LeRoy Neiman, lower left Certificate of Authenticity included.
In a swirl of contrasting blues, reds and whites, two high-jumping basketball players fight for the ball, but it’s already through the ring. We can almost feel the frenetic energy of this legendary basketball game, so vividly depicted by the master of sporting event portrayals, LeRoy Neiman.
“Hoosier Hoopla” is a serigraph made after a famous eponymous painting Neiman executed in honor of the Indiana University Hoosiers’ perfect season of 1975/76. Historical data says that the team was ranked no. 1, remaining undefeated for the entire season, while the first game in which they gloriously defeated the UCLA Bruins remained a matter of sports history. The image shows a game action between Hoosiers’ Kent Benson and Bruins’ Richard Washington, well-known college basketball players of the time. Moreover, this game was broadcast on national television, helping the popularization of basketball in the USA. With a reduced palette in comparison to the original painting, “Hoosier Hoopla” focuses on the movement of players as the most impressive aspect of the game.
The composition is classically triangular, although the moment in time is captured perfectly. Belonging to a specially made series issued on April 20, 1975, the “Hoosier Hoopla” we offer is numbered 742/1000 in a lower left corner. The piece comes without a frame, but we are happy to provide consultation and framing at an added price of $200-$300, depending on your choice. Signed by the artist, this print is definitely an ideal combination of art and sports memorabilia.
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About LeRoy Neiman Named the most popular artist in the United States, LeRoy Neiman was best known for his vibrantly colored, dynamic depictions of sports and entertainment. This painter of “the good life” had the unprecedented skill to capture a figure in motion, while his genre scenes appealed to the broad public. He saw himself as an illustrator, even rather than a painter, while the pleasant moments from the everyday life he painted in a realistic manner.
Fusing action painting techniques with Pop Art and Impressionist and Expressionist elements, Neiman emerged as a master of color. He often used clean, unmixed nuances while his highly recognizable, brilliant palette developed. The color was his way of enhancing the experience, the scents, and feelings of the chosen subject. LeRoy Neiman started his professional career in the 1950s during “the magazine era”, and subsequently created illustrations for many magazines. The most notable one of the publications holding his illustrations is Playboy, but his work was featured in Sports Illustrated and Harpers as well.
As the creator of vivid chronicles of the American life, Neiman became increasingly and widely popular, even though he was never fully accepted by the ‘haute’ critics, comparing him to Norman Rockwell. Nevertheless, he never ceased to work in the way he saw as best, captivating audiences with his skill, even painting on television! His works were exhibited at the Hammer Galleries in New York and the Franklin Bowles Gallery in San Francisco among other venues. Although fame brought him immense wealth, Neiman - a child of the Great Depression, lived frugally. At the same time, he was very generous, having donated almost $20 million to different art institutions around the country. This “American Impressionist” also served as the official artist of 5 Olympic Games, and he painted many prestigious sporting events, from the Kentucky Derby to America’s Boxing Cup and Super Bowl. Among his portrait subjects, we can find many celebrities, politicians and influential figures from different areas.
LeRoy Neiman was born as LeRoy Runquist on June 8, 1921, in St. Paul, MN. He attended St. Paul School of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago after he completed military service. He lived in New York City, where he died on June 20, 2012, at the age of 91.