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August 22, 2014 6:08 pm
Alfred Leslie is an 86-year-old American artist and film-maker who was at the centre of the postwar art movements in the US. He first achieved success with his abstract expressionist paintings and, later, his Beat generation films, among them Pull My Daisy (1959), narrated by Jack Kerouac. After the death in 1966 of the poet Frank O’Hara in a car accident on Fire Island, Leslie spent 14 years on a series of works depicting moments of O’Hara’s death. For his “painted stories”, he adapted a Caravaggio-like style, making nearly 100 studies for what become five major oil canvases. “The Cocktail Party”, which shows a couple looking out across the beach where O’Hara died, is included in The Killing Cycle, a show of Leslie’s work at the Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee.
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