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 10078
    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1950
    Oil on Masonite
    23 x 29 inches
    #10078
  • 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 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 9843
    Wine, Woman and Song, ca. 1930s
    Watercolor on paper
    7 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches

    Titled lower center, on margin.

    #9843
  • Turner 4294
    Poetical Works N 5, ca. 1935
    Watercolor and gouache on paper
    8 1/2 x 11 inches
    #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 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 9719
    Study for Sculpture, ca. 1940s
    Ink on drafting paper on cardboard (original mount)
    19 x 23 3/4 inches
    #9719
  • Turner 9720
    Study for Sculpture, ca. 1940s
    Ink on drafting paper on cardboard (original mount)
    19 x 23 3/4 inches
    #9720
  • Turner 9925
    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1930s
    Ink and graphite on board
    9 x 12 inches
    #9925
  • Turner 9926
    Untitled (Abstraction), a. 1930s
    Ink and graphite on board
    8 x 12 inches
    #9926
  • Turner 4369
    Untitled (Woman Seated), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor, ink, and graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4369
  • Turner 9964
    Figure Study (Three Graces), ca. 1932
    Watercolor, ink and graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches
    #9964
  • Turner 4368
    Untitled (Two Figures), ca. 1930s
    Pastel, ink, charcoal and graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4368
  • Turner 4325
    Standing Nude, ca. 1930
    Ink and pastel on paper
    12 1/4 x 7 1/2 inches
    #4325
  • Turner 4349
    Untitled (Standing Nude), ca. 1930s
    Pastel on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4349
  • Turner 4363
    Two Nudes, ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    11 1/4 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4363
  • Turner 9807
    Oberon, ca. 1930s
    Ink and graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Signed LeRoy Turner, lower right; titled lower left.

    #9807
  • Turner 9898
    Untitled (Seated Man), ca. 1932
    Ink on paper
    14 x 10 inches

    Signed LeRoy Turner, lower right.

    #9898
  • Turner 4372
    Untitled (Standing Figure), ca. 1935
    Ink on paper
    13 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4372
  • 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 9891
    Untitled (Seated Man), ca. 1932
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Signed R Le Roy Turner, lower right.

    #9891
  • 4369 turner 4369
    Untitled (Woman Seated), ca. 1930s
    Watercolor, ink, and graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4369
  • Turner 9897
    Figure Study (Seated Nude), ca. 1932
    Charcoal on paper
    14 x 10 inches
    #9897
  • Turner 4304
    AB 41, ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    11 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches

    Signed Le Roy Turner and titled lower left.

    #4304
  • Turner 9927
    Untitled (A Composite of Four Sculpture Studies), ca. 1930s
    Ink on paper
    15 x 19 1/2 inches

    Signed Turner, lower right.

    #9927
  • Turner 4374
    Untitled (Two Nudes), ca. 1935
    Watercolor and ink on paper
    8 1/2 x 11 inches
    #4374
  • 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
  • Tuener 4306
    Fantasy #5- AB-14, ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    16 x 10 3/4 inches

    Signed, titled and numbered lower left

    #4306
  • 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
  • 4385 turner 4385
    Untitled (Still Life with Guitar), ca. 1930
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    7 x 10 inches
    #4385
  • 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 4396
    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    6 1/4 x 4 3/4 inches
    #4396
  • 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 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 4415
    Untitled (Two Figures), ca. 1930
    Ink on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches
    #4415
  • Turner 4377
    Scénes Alsaciennes, ca. 1930s
    Ink and graphite on paper
    10 x 14 inches

    Titled Scénes Alsaciennes, lower left.

    #4377
  • Turner 7739
    Untitled (Abstraction), ca. 1930s
    Graphite on paper
    3 x 5 inches
    #7739
  • 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 4406
    Untitled (Nude), 1933
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Dated upper left, Dec. 13 ‘33.

    #4406
  • Turner 4384
    Untitled (Abstraction), 1933
    Graphite on paper
    11 x 8 1/2 inches

    Dated 7-26-33 lower left

    #4384
  • Turner 9713
    Mural Study- Mining (Two Harbors High School, Two Harbors, MN), ca. 1939
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    18 x 25 inches
    #9713
  • Turner 9714
    Mural Study - Mining (Two Harbors High School, Two Harbors, MN), ca. 1939
    Watercolor and graphite on paper
    18 1/2 x 24 inches
    #9714

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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