Muhammad Ali Signed Limited-Edition LeRoy Neiman Serigraph - Artist's Proof

Sold For: $4,994

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1581

Item Year: 2001

Category: LeRoy Neiman Serigraphs

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Titled Muhammad Ali - Athlete of the Century , issued in 2001, numbered "AP 30/150" (artist's proof), and flawlessly signed in pencil along the lower margin by both Muhammad Ali and LeRoy Neiman (each grading "10"). The regular edition of this piece was limited to just 850 numbered impressions but, as officially noted in the margin, this is a much scarcer artist's proof (one of a small group of prints set aside for the artist's personal use). Although Ali was a frequent subject for Neiman, this piece is widely considered his finest representation of the former heavyweight champion. The work is based upon sketches Neiman made of Ali in 1964 and the artist later commented on the piece: All of my experiences and observations of Ali are summed up in this portrait. This painting is for me the quintessential, colorful, confident Ali. It shows his fighting face, with that theatrical flair, that is so familiar to the world and epitomizes a career that extended to a public far beyond the boxing ring. He was fast with his rhetoric and swift with his fists, and the intent of the painting and print is to emphasize his boundless energy . This is a modern classic and one of the most desirable serigraphs ever issued by Neiman. The serigraph measures 28 x 42 inches (image area) and displays remnants of mounting tape along the top edge on the reverse; otherwise in Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $4,994

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