R. LeRoy Turner

American, 1905 - 1957


R. Leroy Turner is known 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 artists Cameron Booth and Edmund

Kinzinger. He became highly influenced by the artwork of Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris, and Klee. In 1928 he traveled to Europe to further his art studies in Munich and Paris. There 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 ConIey Galleries in Minneapolis.

In 1936, Turner and fellow artist Alexander Corazzo joined the prestigious avant-garde European painting group Abstraction Création. This loose-knit but influential organization of painters andsculptors, which included Piet Mondrian, Jean Arp and Albert Gleizes, among others, promoted the aesthetic concepts of geometric abstract painting. Their emphasis was a painting style of formal purity, line, color and non-objectivity. Turner and Corrazo were two of the very selected few American artists accepted into the group, which also included Alexander Calder and Robert Carl Holty. Turner exhibited two paintings with Abstraction-Création in 1936, where he showed under the single name “Leroy”.

Leroy Turner suffered from chronic poor health. While many of his colleagues and contemporaries, such as Corazzo or Calder, continued to exhibit and travel extensively, Turner returned to Minneapolis to become a full-time painting instructor. From 1936-1948 Tuner taught at the University of Minnesota. During the years of the Second World War, from 1940-1942, he became an Assistant Director at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Later in his life he was a painting and sculpture instructor at the Stillwater Art Colony from 1938-1950. Turner died in 1957 in Stillwater, MN at the age of 52.

  • Turner 6281ur

    Ovoids #8, 1935
    Oil on board
    35 x 27 inches
    #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 pencil 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 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 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 known 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 artists Cameron Booth and Edmund

Kinzinger. He became highly influenced by the artwork of Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris, and Klee. In 1928 he traveled to Europe to further his art studies in Munich and Paris. There 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 ConIey Galleries in Minneapolis.

In 1936, Turner and fellow artist Alexander Corazzo joined the prestigious avant-garde European painting group Abstraction Création. This loose-knit but influential organization of painters andsculptors, which included Piet Mondrian, Jean Arp and Albert Gleizes, among others, promoted the aesthetic concepts of geometric abstract painting. Their emphasis was a painting style of formal purity, line, color and non-objectivity. Turner and Corrazo were two of the very selected few American artists accepted into the group, which also included Alexander Calder and Robert Carl Holty. Turner exhibited two paintings with Abstraction-Création in 1936, where he showed under the single name “Leroy”.

Leroy Turner suffered from chronic poor health. While many of his colleagues and contemporaries, such as Corazzo or Calder, continued to exhibit and travel extensively, Turner returned to Minneapolis to become a full-time painting instructor. From 1936-1948 Tuner taught at the University of Minnesota. During the years of the Second World War, from 1940-1942, he became an Assistant Director at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Later in his life he was a painting and sculpture instructor at the Stillwater Art Colony from 1938-1950. Turner died in 1957 in Stillwater, MN at the age of 52.

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