Leroy Turner (1905-1957), Paintings & Drawings:

Abstraction Création Rediscovered


October 14th - November 1st, 2013

R. Leroy Turner is known for his vibrant Modern abstractions completed from the late 1920s through the early 1950s. His artwork emphasizes a lyrical form of Cubism, often inspired by visual interpretations of classical music. Many of his compositions are titled after specific pieces of music, and frequently they include themes of melodic symbols, devices and musical scores.

Born in Sherwood, ND in 1905, Turner spent much of his childhood living in Minnesota. In Minneapolis, LeRoy Turner studied painting at the University of Minnesota with artists Cameron Booth and Edmund Kinzinger. He became highly influenced by the artwork of Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris, and Klee. In 1928 he traveled to Europe to further his art studies in Munich and Paris. There he continued his association with both instructors Booth and Kinzinger. Returning to the United States, Turner joined the faculty of the St. Paul School of Art in St Paul, MN, where he became a painting instructor from 1933 to 1936. In 1935, to favored reviews, Turner exhibited his abstract paintings at a one-man show at the Nash ConIey Galleries in Minneapolis.

In 1936, Turner and fellow artist Alexander Corazzo joined the prestigious avant-garde European painting group Abstraction Création. This loose-knit but influential organization of painters andsculptors, which included Piet Mondrian, Jean Arp and Albert Gleizes, among others, promoted the aesthetic concepts of geometric abstract painting. Their emphasis was a painting style of formal purity, line, color and non-objectivity. Turner and Corrazo were two of the very selected few American artists accepted into the group, which also included Alexander Calder and Robert Carl Holty. Turner exhibited two paintings with Abstraction-Création in 1936, where he showed under the single name “Leroy”.

Leroy Turner suffered from chronic poor health. While many of his colleagues and contemporaries, such as Corazzo or Calder, continued to exhibit and travel extensively, Turner returned to Minneapolis to become a full-time painting instructor. From 1936-1948 Tuner taught at the University of Minnesota. During the years of the Second World War, from 1940-1942, he became an Assistant Director at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Later in his life he was a painting and sculpture instructor at the Stillwater Art Colony from 1938-1950. Turner died in 1957 in Stillwater, MN at the age of 52.

  • Turner 6058

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Brown Rhythms, 1934
    Oil on canvas
    22 x 30 inches

    Signed and dated lower right; signed on reverse

    #6058
    SOLD
  • Turner 6053

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    The One and the Other, ca. 1935
    Casein on Masonite
    48 x 72 3/4 inches

    Titled on reverse

    #6053
    SOLD
  • Turner 6057

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Machine Boogie, ca. 1935
    Oil on canvas
    32 x 40 inches

    Signed lower right

    #6057
    SOLD
  • Turner 6056 ur

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Rhythmic Forms #2, 1936
    Casein on panel
    61 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches

    Titled on reverse

    #6056
    SOLD
  • Turner 6055 ur

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Rhythmic Forms #1, 1936
    Casein on panel
    61 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches

    Titled on reverse

    #6055
    SOLD
  • Turner 6275

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Contrasts, 1933
    Oil on Masonite
    24 x 36 inches
    #6275
  • Turner 6050

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Quiet Forms, 1933
    Oil on canvas
    48 x 30 inches

    Titled and dated on reverse

    #6050
    SOLD
  • Turner 4285

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Landscape Memory, 1934
    Casein on canvas
    18 x 24 inches

    Signed and dated upper left;
    signed on reverse; titled on label on reverse

    #4285
    SOLD
  • Turner 6276

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Couple, 1935
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 16 1/4 inches

    Signed and dated lower right; titled on reverse

    #6276
    SOLD
  • Turner 6052

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Street Composition, 1932/36
    Oil on canvas
    38 x 32 inches
    #6052
    SOLD
  • 4286 turner 4286

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Untitled (Reclining Nude), ca. 1935
    Oil on board
    9 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches
    #4286
  • Turner 6277

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Downtown, 1950
    Oil on canvas
    28 x 36 inches

    Signed, titled and dated on reverse

    #6277
  • Turner 6633

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Portrait in Sepia
    Oil on canvas
    18 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches

    Signed lower right

    #6633
    SOLD
  • 4293 turner 4293

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Devastating Flood, ca. 1935
    Gouache and watercolor on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Titled on mat

    #4293
  • Turner 4292

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1935
    Watercolor on tracing paper
    10 3/4 x 16 inches

    Signed Tuener lower left

    #4292
  • 4289 turner 4289

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1935
    Watercolor on paper
    9 1/2 x 12 inches
    #4289
  • Turner 4310

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Fourth Movement, ca. 1935
    Watercolor on paper
    12 x 18 inches

    Signed and titled lower left

    #4310
  • 4379 turner 4379

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Untitled (Portrait of a Woman)
    Pastel and graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Signed lower right

    #4379
  • 4423 turner 4423

    R. LeRoy Turner
    American, 1905 - 1957
    Untitled (Portrait Study), ca. 1930
    Charcoal on paper
    20 1/2 x 15 1/4 inches

    Signed Turner lower right

    #4423

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