An interview with Alfred Leslie conducted 2018 September 14, by Avis Berman, for the Archives of American Art, at Leslie's studio in New York, N.Y.
Leslie speaks of his family history; his work as a gymnast; changing his surname; living with deafness since childhood; his early involvement in the Art Students League; enlisting and training in the U.S. Navy; his early artistic, musical, and literary production; studying and making art at NYU, Subjects of the Artist School, Studio 35, and The Club in the late 1940s; changes in his critical reputation and creative practice in the 1950s; his emergence as a filmmaker; the process of making The Last Clean Shirt; reflections on his work's engagement of its viewer; and reflections on the nature of discipline. Leslie also recalls Kimon Voyages, Flora Loebel, Leo Castelli, Lisa Bigelow, Caresse Crosby, Helen Frankenthaler, Nancy de Antonio, Barbara Rose, Ivan Olinsky, Frank DuMond, Reginald Marsh, Robert Beverly Hale, John McPherson, Harold Becker, Saul Colin, Grace Hartigan, Harry Jackson, Esta Teich, Allen Ginsberg, Tony Smith, Robert Goodnough, Robert Iglehart, William Baziotes, Hale Woodruff, Carl O. Podzus, Merce Cunningham, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Motherwell, Aristodemos Kaldis, Milton Resnick, Joop Sanders, Elaine de Kooning, Herbert Machiz, Ted Loos, Frank Stella, Eberhard Kornfeld, Arnold Rüdlinger, Walter Gutman, Harold Kanovitz, Frank O'Hara, Tony Schwartz, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Interviewee Alfred Leslie (1927- ) is an artist in New York, N.Y. Interviewer Avis Berman (1949- ) is an art historian and author in New York, N.Y.
The Archives of American Art also holds the papers of Alfred Leslie.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
This interview is open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.