Painter and sculptor Leslie Lerner, formerly of the Bay Area, died at home in Florida on September 10 at age 55 after a ferocious battle with cancer, without fear and facing the next itinerant journey.
Lerner will be remembered as a painter, sculptor, inspirational teacher, indefatigable spirit, champion of art and artists, creator of narratives, imaginary companion of Antoine Watteau. He was a prodigious reader, fast talker, and lover of words, tropical skies, twilight, and enchiladas.
Over his decades-long career, Leslie was a dedicated art teacher at San Francisco State, the San Francisco Art Institute, and California College of Arts and Crafts. At his last position as art instructor at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, he was a prime architect of the Fine Arts program and served as both Senior Thesis Coordinator and the Director of the Pre-College Perspective Summer Program, where he guided and mentored many students. His paintings are represented in collections in museums around the country, including the Corcoran Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum, and the Norton Museum of Art.
William Eggleston throws the audience for a loop with a show at Cheim and Read. While everybody is familiar with his richly colored, blissfully mundane photography of the American South here Eggleston is showing large black & white portraits. It’s a body of work made in 1973 in nightclubs where he photographed with a hand-held view camera and a strobe. The exquisite detail afforded by this set-up is at odds with the offhand gestures of his subjects. His subjects preen and pose in the way people casually approached relate to a camera. In an ironic twist the dress and grooming of his subjects (such as aviator sunglasses, handlebar mustaches, and printed shirts) is similar to what one would find at a Williamsburg bar any night of the week. The original however feels much less despicable.