Extraordinary painter and filmmaker Alfred Leslie was born in the Bronx, New York in 1927 and died in Brooklyn in 2023. In the late 1940s he emerged as an experimental filmmaker and an Abstract Expressionist Painter. In the 1950s and ’60s, he was associated with a community of avant-garde artists and writers, including Joan Mitchell, Larry Rivers, Robert Frank, Frank O’Hara, and Jack Kerouac, with whom he often collaborated. The quintessential Beat Generation film Pull My Daisy (1959) was codirected by Leslie and photographer Robert Frank, based on text by poet Jack Kerouac. In the early 1960s Leslie rejected abstraction, turning exclusively to figurative painting.
His work has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including The Art Institute of Chicago, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., The Saint Louis Art Museum, The Walker Art Center, and The Whitney Museum of American Art.