Southwestern University’s Sarofim Fine Arts Gallery presents Leonard Lehrer: A Retrospective, an art exhibition featuring drawings, paintings, and prints from a thirty-four year period of Lehrer’s artistic production.
The Lehrer retrospective focuses on his early interest in botany expressed in the beauty of elegant line and delicate color, progressing gradually to his mature hand-colored prints of formal garden designs from around the globe. In the intermediate stages are deep space landscapes in richly developed black ink etchings that achieve a stunningly haunting effect of mood and light and his looser, more emotionally expressive landscape paintings created on site in Mexico.
Originally a native of Philadelphia, Lehrer’s cosmopolitan work results from his extensive world travel. Lehrer is best known for his body of garden landscapes, tightly designed and structured into an organizing compositional grid of pure, geometric form. Southwestern presents five of these beautiful hand-colored lithographs, including “View of St. Petersburgh,” a hand-colored, hand-printed fine art lithograph collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Perhaps the most moving of the works in the exhibition are the drawings of the Lehrers’ daughter’s hands in his series, “Dialogues.” The late Anna Katrina Lehrer was born with cerebral palsy and, though unable to utter words, spoke instead through the expressive gestures of her hands. Lehrer’s lovingly rendered large drawings of Anna’s hands give voice to her many moods. Thirty-three drawings of the series form a grid from which emerges the communicative strength of a clear personal language, whose full meaning is unknown to us, drawn in such a way that only a parent could observe with such extraordinary tenderness.
Leonard Lehrer: A Retrospective entices the viewer to participate in a beautiful visual world Lehrer has created, encompassing finely observed form and carefully arranged, formally constructed designs honed through a life rich with experience and knowledge.
This exhibit is Lehrer’s forty-eighth solo exhibit. His work is featured in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Art, New York City; the National Gallery of Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Butler Institute of American Art: Gangsnung Art Cultural Center, Korea; Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; the Sprengel Museum of Art, Hannover, Germany; and some one hundred other public collections.
Leonard Lehrer: A Retrospective opens June 8 and continues through October 1. The Sarofim Fine Arts Gallery hours are 12 - 5 p.m., closed Mondays & holidays. An artist’s reception with a short presentation by Lehrer will occur on September 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend the art exhibition and reception on Southwestern University’s at the Sarofim School of Fine Arts, East Rutersville Drive, Georgetown, Texas; For more information about the exhibit visit www.southwestern.edu.