Leslie Lerner came to artistic maturity during 60’s pop culture of San Francisco and the surreal stage sets of southern California. An installation artist, trained by abstractionist professors, Lerner found his voice in the narrative tales of his imaginary voyage, “My Life in France”. Inspired by the unreal quality and fantasy of a Watteau painting depicting an idyllic romp, Lerner started painting in a manner that combines the lush use of paint, with a contemporary, slightly wacky, sensibility.
The travels around the world of the artist’s protagonist, a boy forced to flee his native Holland during the Protestant riots of the 17th century, culminates in his return to Delft twenty years later where he recounts his adventures through exotic realms. In Lerner’s last body of work, this alter-ego’s “travels” are in America. According to the artist: “I have followed a narrative like a psychological thread that parallels my real experiences in a constructed fable, filled with morality plays, incidents, mysteries. I never want to explain it--- I can’t. I paint it all in my American theme park.” Yet, this narrative really reflects the psychological, interior world of the artist.
On September 10, 2005, Leslie Lerner passed away after a long illness. Leslie was a Fine Arts faculty member for the past fifteen years at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Florida. He was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Achievement Award in 1990 and more recently The Ballinglenn Arts Foundation Fellowship, Residency in Ireland. His work is in numerous museum collections including the Corcoran Museum of Art, Arkansas Arts Center, Oakland Museum, the Progressive Corporation and the Norton Museum of Art. The artist left a prodigious body of work that will continue to be shown in ongoing museum and gallery exhibitions. We will continue to sell and place Lerner’s extraordinary paintings, drawings and etchings into both public and private collections.