30″ x 22″
LeRoy Neiman is at ease with many media. Most of his early years were
spent painting and drawing. He explored a number of art-in-multiples tech-
niques, but was not entirely satisfied with the first results.
His tentative experiments with monotypes and lithographs in the 1950s
and 60s were followed by his passionate love affair with serigraphs in the
1970s. The technique of serigraphy made his sensuously controlled explo-
sions of color available to a very wide audience. It was not until he had
published over a hundred limited editions of serigraphs in an orgy of paint-
erly creativity that he begun to feel an attraction for the firm discipline of
the etcher’s art.
His first etchings were done as learning experiments in Switzerland during
1971. The methodology intrigued him. In 1972, he produced several suites
of sports subjects – baseball, skiing, hockey, basketball and boxing. During
those early years he worked with various techniques that ranged from aqua-
tint to hand pulled photo-etching. Then he set the etching process aside
for a few years.
Late in 1975, he felt the itch to etch again. He bought his own press, and
set it up in his New York studio. From that point on, Neiman’s etchings
started to become deeply personal expressions.
The first suite off the press was a series of nudes, followed by moving
studies of people and animals working together in a special kind of natural
harmony. the period between 1977 and 1978 marks the mature development
of Neiman’s work as an etcher.
Since that time all of his etchings have been worked on the various
metals in his etching studio. Each image originated as a direct line drawing
through a hard ground which was then etched. After the first state proof is
pulled, Neiman usually reworks the plate using such techniques as aquatint,
dry point, and scraping. Each time the plate is reworked, a state proof is
pulled until the artist is satisfied with the image. All of the impressions for
each edition are then inked and hand pulled by his printer under Neiman’s
direction in the etching studio.
“The Game of Life”, is a provocative allegory, and a masterpiece of etching,
where representatives from every corner of the Planet Earth gather together
around the spinning of the roulette wheel.
Early in 1980, Neiman decided to devote a great deal of his time to
etching. The results have been impressive. This year also marks the publica-
tion of his first major Limited Edition of his etchings since 1972. This portfolio
edition enclosed contains the following ten etchings: Dalmatian, Six Nudes,
Bovine Family, Midnight Cheetah, Rodeo, Soccer, Daily Double, Into the
Open, The Game of Life, Stud Poker. Each etching consists of 250 impress-
sions with 40 artist’s proofs. The range of Neiman’s subject matter in this
edition is considerable, from studies of animals and nudes to the active
drama of sporting events and gambling tables.