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by LeRoy Neiman
13.75 x 16.5 inches, 220 pages,
four-color illustrations throughout
Special deluxe large format clamshell limited edition of only 500 copies, individually signed and numbered by LeRoy Neiman.
When the world’s most popular artist, LeRoy Neiman, set out to sketch the momentous, history-making heavyweight championship prize fights between Sonny Liston and Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, he had no idea of publishing a book. Now rediscovered in his Upper West Side studio, the forty-year-old original sketchbook is reborn and lovingly reproduced in an 1:1 stunning facsimile, recreating in words and images those two controversial and epochal fights, along with the dramatic events of the times surrounding them.
Imbued with a deep appreciation of and familiarity with the protagonists involved, Neiman’s superb draftsmanship and unique flair bring the poetry-spouting, nose-thumbing consummate entertainer, Cassius Clay, back to life in high contrast to the glowering, scowling ex-con Sonny Liston. From an intimate first person perspective, Neiman records the taunting and trash-talking dealt by both fighters leading up to the fights, and includes real newspaper clippings of the day, slamming Ali for converting to Islam. Also seen passing through, witnessing the spectacle, are personalities of the day including Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad.
More than an astute rendering of a fascinating time in the history of boxing and American culture, The LeRoy Neiman Sketchbook: 1964 Liston vs. Clay—1965 Ali vs. Liston is itself an art masterpiece to be perused, displayed, and rediscovered as a rare objet d’art, superbly capturing what was perhaps the zenith of the American sport.
Produced in Rhode Island by prestigious Meridian Printing (Crosstown by Helen Levitt, Attracted to Light by Mike and Doug Starn, New York September 11 by Magnum Photographers) The LeRoy Neiman Sketchbook represents powerHouse Books’ latest major accomplishment in our commitment to adding the work of world-class fine artists (Francesco Clemente, George Condo, Judy Chicago) to our ever expanding catalog of photography, pop culture, and entertainment.