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Alfred Leslie, Four Panel Green—Big Green, 1956–57, oil on canvas, 12' × 13' 10".

Alfred Leslie

Allan Stone Projects

Alfred Leslie, Four Panel Green—Big Green, 1956–57, oil on canvas, 12' × 13' 10".

During the early 1950s, many considered the abstract painters Alfred Leslie and Harry Jackson to be the heirs apparent to Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, though the famous pair’s close friends and colleagues Helen Frankenthaler, Grace Hartigan, and Joan Mitchell were regarded highly, too. As it was, Hartigan was included in the landmark 1958 show “The New American Painting” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. And Frankenthaler enjoyed a midcareer survey at the Jewish Museum in 1960. But Leslie too earned a plum assignment. He participated in MoMA’s “Sixteen Americans,” which, by featuring Frank Stella’s “Black Paintings,” 1958–60, helped usher in a new era in American art.

The paintings and collages in “Alfred Leslie: Abstraction 1951–1962,” the eighty-eight-year-old artist’s recent solo show at Allan Stone Projects, should have been cause for jubilation. For those with

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