Alfred Leslie American, 1927-2023


The ever-versatile Alfred Leslie (American, b. 1927, The Bronx, New York) has been on the frontlines of many major movements in postwar American art. Early in his career Leslie was associated with the Abstract Expressionists in New York, producing immense, lush abstractions and counting Barnett Newman, Franz Kline, and critic Clement Greenberg among his close associates. From there, Leslie would experiment radically, making silkscreen boxes years before Andy Warhol and painting hyper-realistic figurative scenes that would show alongside Chuck Close and Philip Pearlstein.

“I don't think he's gotten his due,” Whitney curator Barbara Haskell once said. “I think he did fall between the cracks chronologically… I think it was difficult for people to understand his career as one unit.” Leslie was also at the forefront of experimental film, collaborating with Robert Frank to make Pull My Daisy (1959), a tribute to the Beat generation featuring Richard Bellamy, Allen Ginsberg, Alice Neel, and Larry Rivers (via Artsy).