R. LeRoy Turner

American, 1905 - 1957


R. Leroy Turner is recognized for his vibrant Modern abstractions completed from the late 1920s through the early 1950s. His artwork emphasizes a lyrical form of Cubism, often inspired by visual interpretations of classical music. Many of his compositions are titled after specific pieces of music, and frequently they include themes of melodic symbols, devices and musical scores.

Born in Sherwood, ND in 1905, Turner spent much of his childhood living in Minnesota. In Minneapolis, LeRoy Turner studied painting at the University of Minnesota with the noted artists and instructors, Cameron Booth and Edmund Kinzinger. Towards the late 1920s, Turner became highly influenced by the paintings styles of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Paul Klee. In 1928 he traveled to Europe to further his art studies in Munich and Paris. While painting in Europe he continued his association with both instructors Booth and Kinzinger. Returning to the United States, Turner joined the faculty of the St. Paul School of Art in St Paul, MN, where he became a painting instructor from 1933 to 1936. In 1935, to favored reviews, Turner exhibited his abstract paintings at a one-man show at the Nash-Conley Galleries in Minneapolis.

In 1936, Turner and fellow artist Alexander Corazzo joined the prestigious European avant-garde painting group, Abstraction-Création. Founded in Paris in 1931 to counteract the rise of Surrealism, this influential organization of painters and sculptors, which included Piet Mondrian, Jean Arp and Albert Gleizes, among others, aimed to promote the concepts of Modern geometric, non-figurative abstract painting. The group emphasized a synthesis of formal line, color and purity, incorporating the concepts of non-objective painting, Cubism and abstraction. Turner and Corazzo were two of a very select number of American artists accepted into the group, which also included Alexander Calder and Carl Holty. Turner exhibited with Abstraction-Création, which included two paintings in 1936, showing under the single name “Leroy”.

Leroy Turner suffered from chronic poor health through much of his adult life. While many of his American colleagues from Abstraction-Création, such as Calder, Holty and Corazzo, continued to exhibit and travel extensively, Turner returned to Minneapolis to become a full-time art instructor and administrator. From 1936-1948 Tuner became a respected teacher of painting at the University of Minnesota. During the Second World War, from 1940-1942, he served as the Assistant Director at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Later in his life he became a painting and sculpture instructor at the Stillwater Art Colony in Minnesota from 1938-1950. Turner died in 1957 in Stillwater, MN at the age of 52.

  • Turner 10077

    Man & Bird, 1933
    Oil on canvas
    48 x 30 inches

    Signed LeRoy Turner lower right; signed, titled and dated on reverse.

    #10077
  • Turner 10078

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite
    23 x 29 inches
    #10078
  • Turner 7249

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite
    29 x 23 inches
    #7249
    SOLD
  • Turner 10877

    Elopement, 1950
    Oil on board
    26 x 12 inches

    Titled and dated on reverse.

    #10877
  • Turner 10878

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1950
    Oil on board
    16 x 10 1/2 inches
    #10878
  • Turner 10081

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1950s
    Oil on Masonite
    29 1/2 x 23 inches
    #10081
  • Turner 10096

    Woman, ca. 1947
    Oil on artist board, in original frame
    30 x 40 inches

    Signed Turner and titled on reverse.

    #10096
  • Turner 10094

    Still Life Forms, ca. 1947
    Oil on artist board, in original frame
    36 x 48 inches

    Signed Turner and titled on reverse.

    #10094
  • Turner 10084

    Untitled (Abstraction), 1951
    Oil on canvas
    40 x 32 inches

    Dated on label on reverse.

    #10084
  • Turner 10881

    AA E.1 (III), ca. 1940s
    Oil on artist board
    15 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches

    Signed LeRoy Turner lower right; signed and titled on reverse.

    #10881
    SOLD
  • Turner 10097

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1940s
    OIl on artist board
    6 x 7 1/2 inches
    #10097
  • Turner 10099

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1940s
    Oil on artist board
    9 x 12 inches
    #10099
    SOLD
  • Turner 10882

    The Great Battle (II), ca. 1940s
    Oil on artist board
    8 x 9 3/4 inches

    Signed LeRoy Turner and titled on reverse.

    #10882
  • Turner 10098

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1940s
    Oil on artist board
    5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches
    #10098
  • Turner 10100

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1940s
    Oil on artist board
    6 x 9 inches
    #10100
    SOLD
  • Turner 6281

    Ovoids #8, 1935
    Casein on board
    35 x 27 inches

    Titled and dated on reverse.

    #6281
  • 4338 turner 4338

    AB - 69, ca. 1935
    Gouache, watercolor and graphite on paper
    14 x 20 inches

    Signed Turner lower right; signed and titled on margin lower left.

    #4338
  • Turner 4336

    AB - 71, ca. 1935
    Gouache and graphite on paper
    16 x 24 inches

    Signed Turner lower right; signed and titled on margin lower left.

    #4336
  • Turner 4294

    Poetical Works N 5, ca. 1935
    Watercolor and gouache on paper
    8 1/2 x 11 inches

    Titled on mat

    #4294
  • Turner 4364

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1935
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    9 x 12 inches
    #4364
  • 4335 turner 4335

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1935
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    16 3/4 x 22 1/2 inches

    Signed Turner lower right.

    #4335
  • Turner 4316

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1935
    Gouache, watercolor and graphite on paper
    5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4316
  • Turner 4318

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1935
    Gouache, watercolor, graphite and collage on paper
    9 x 15 inches
    #4318
  • Turner 4313

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1935
    Gouache, charcoal, graphite and collage on paper
    9 x 14 inches
    #4313
  • Turner 4295

    Performance Herein, ca. 1935
    Gouache and watercolor on paper
    9 x 12 inches

    Titled on mat

    #4295
  • 4354 turner 4354

    Untitled (Tennis Players), ca. 1950
    Colored pencil and graphite on paper
    9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches
    #4354
  • Turner 4363

    Two Nudes, ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    11 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4363
  • Turner 4349

    Untitled (Standing Nude), ca. 1930s
    Pastel on paper
    8 1/2 x 11 inches
    #4349
  • 4422 turner 4422

    Untitled (Portrait Study), ca. 1930
    Charcoal on paper
    25 x 19 inches

    Signed Turner lower right.

    #4422
  • 4424 turner 4424

    Untitled (Seated Woman), ca. 1930
    Charcoal on paper
    24 x 16 inches

    Signed Turner lower right.

    #4424
  • Turner 4307

    Fantasy #2 AB-37, ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    16 x 10 3/4 inches

    Signed R. LeRoy Turner lower right; signed, titled and numbered upper left margin.

    #4307
  • Turner 4308

    Fantasy #3 AB-67, ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    9 x 12 inches

    Signed Le Roy Turner and titled lower left.

    #4308
  • Turner 4305 horizontal

    Fantasy #1 AB-16, ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    9 x 12 1/4 inches

    Signed LeRoy Turner and titled lower left.

    #4305
  • 4327 turner 4327

    AB-13 (Study for "Network Program"), ca. 1935
    Colored pencil and graphite on paper
    7 1/2 x 9 3/4 inches

    Signed Turner lower right; signed and titled on margin lower right.

    #4327
  • Turner 4341

    Still Life, ca. 1930
    Gouache and graphite on artist board
    8 1/2 x 9 inches

    Signed Turner lower right

    #4341
  • 4385 turner 4385

    Untitled (Still Life with Guitar), ca. 1930
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    7 x 10 inches
    #4385
  • Turner 4328

    AB - 32, ca. 1935
    Gouache, watercolor and graphite on paper
    12 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches

    Signed R. LeRoy Turner lower right; signed and titled on margin upper left.

    #4328
  • Turner 4329

    Perpetual Motion (AB - 30), ca. 1935
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    12 1/2 x 19 inches

    Signed R. LeRoy Turner lower right; titled lower left.

    #4329
  • Turner 4339

    Official Review (AB - 29), ca. 1935
    Gouache, watercolor, pastel and graphite on paper
    15 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches

    Signed Turner lower right; titled lower left; signed and numbered on margin lower right.

    #4339
  • Turner 4326

    Untitled (Abstaction), ca. 1930s
    Ink, watercolor and graphite on paper
    15 x 8 1/4 inches
    #4326
  • Turner 4333

    Third Movement, ca. 1930s
    Pastel, conté crayon and graphite on paper
    20 x 11 1/2 inches

    Signed and titled Third Movement, Le Roy Turner AB - 28 lower left.

    #4333
  • Turner 4332

    Fourth Movement, ca. 1930s
    Pastel, conté crayon and graphite on paper
    17 3/4 x 10 1/4 inches

    Signed and titled Fourth Movement, LeRoy Turner AB-27 lower left.

    #4332
  • Turner 4381

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    8 1/2 x 6 inches
    #4381
  • Turner 4396

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    6 1/4 x 4 3/4 inches
    #4396
  • Turner 4380

    AB-42, ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    9 1/2 x 6 3/4 inches

    Signed and titled R. LeRoy Turner, AB-42 lower left.

    #4380
  • 4397 turner 4397

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1935
    Graphite on paper
    5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches
    #4397
  • 4394 turner 4394

    Carnival of the City (AB - 5), ca. 1935
    Graphite on paper
    5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches

    Signed and numbered LeRoy Turner AB-5 lower right; titled lower left.

    #4394
  • Turner 4406

    Untitled (Nude), 1933
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Dated upper left, Dec. 13 ‘33

    #4406
  • Turner 4359

    Untitled (Study IV), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    5 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches

    Inscribed IV upper right.

    #4359
  • Turner 4361

    Untitled (Study VII), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    5 1/2 x 4 3/4 inches

    Inscribed VII upper right.

    #4361
  • Turner 4377

    Scénes Alsaciennes, ca. 1930s
    Ink and graphite on paper
    10 x 14 inches

    Titled Scénes Alsaciennes lower left.

    #4377
  • Turner 7735

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    5 1/2 x 4 inches
    #7735
  • Turner 7739

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    3 x 5 inches
    #7739
  • Turner 4321

    Night Dreams Study, ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    4 x 6 1/4 inches
    #4321
  • Turner 4322

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    3 3/4 x 2 3/4 inches

    Signed R. LeRoy Turner on original mat lower center.

    #4322
  • Turner 7736

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    4 x 2 1/2 inches
    #7736
  • Turner 7737

    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    4 x 2 1/2 inches
    #7737
  • Turner 4384

    Untitled (Abstraction), 1933
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Dated 7-26-33 lower left

    #4384
  • Turner 4382

    Abstraction (Study #1), 1933
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Dated 7-23-33 lower right; inscribed #1 lower left.

    #4382
  • Turner 4383

    Abstraction (Study #2), 1933
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Dated 7-23-33 lower center; inscribed #2 lower left.

    #4383
  • Turner 4387

    Untitled (Study), ca. 1930s
    Colored pencil and graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4387
  • Turner 4386

    Untitled (Composition Study), ca. 1930s
    Colored pencil and graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4386
  • Turner 4388

    Untitled (Figures), ca. 1930s
    Colored pencil and graphite on paper
    8 1/2 x 11 inches
    #4388

R. Leroy Turner is recognized for his vibrant Modern abstractions completed from the late 1920s through the early 1950s. His artwork emphasizes a lyrical form of Cubism, often inspired by visual interpretations of classical music. Many of his compositions are titled after specific pieces of music, and frequently they include themes of melodic symbols, devices and musical scores.

Born in Sherwood, ND in 1905, Turner spent much of his childhood living in Minnesota. In Minneapolis, LeRoy Turner studied painting at the University of Minnesota with the noted artists and instructors, Cameron Booth and Edmund Kinzinger. Towards the late 1920s, Turner became highly influenced by the paintings styles of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, and Paul Klee. In 1928 he traveled to Europe to further his art studies in Munich and Paris. While painting in Europe he continued his association with both instructors Booth and Kinzinger. Returning to the United States, Turner joined the faculty of the St. Paul School of Art in St Paul, MN, where he became a painting instructor from 1933 to 1936. In 1935, to favored reviews, Turner exhibited his abstract paintings at a one-man show at the Nash-Conley Galleries in Minneapolis.

In 1936, Turner and fellow artist Alexander Corazzo joined the prestigious European avant-garde painting group, Abstraction-Création. Founded in Paris in 1931 to counteract the rise of Surrealism, this influential organization of painters and sculptors, which included Piet Mondrian, Jean Arp and Albert Gleizes, among others, aimed to promote the concepts of Modern geometric, non-figurative abstract painting. The group emphasized a synthesis of formal line, color and purity, incorporating the concepts of non-objective painting, Cubism and abstraction. Turner and Corazzo were two of a very select number of American artists accepted into the group, which also included Alexander Calder and Carl Holty. Turner exhibited with Abstraction-Création, which included two paintings in 1936, showing under the single name “Leroy”.

Leroy Turner suffered from chronic poor health through much of his adult life. While many of his American colleagues from Abstraction-Création, such as Calder, Holty and Corazzo, continued to exhibit and travel extensively, Turner returned to Minneapolis to become a full-time art instructor and administrator. From 1936-1948 Tuner became a respected teacher of painting at the University of Minnesota. During the Second World War, from 1940-1942, he served as the Assistant Director at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Later in his life he became a painting and sculpture instructor at the Stillwater Art Colony in Minnesota from 1938-1950. Turner died in 1957 in Stillwater, MN at the age of 52.

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