Einstein's Secret, 1958-61
Est: 5.6 x 4 feet
Private Collection, Minneapolis
During the 1950s, Alfred Leslie, along with his contemporaries, Joan Mitchell, Al Held, and Grace Hartigan, was considered a second-generation Abstract Expressionist. The term describes artists who were building on the expressive painterly vocabulary of Willem De Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and others of the New York School. Einstein's Secret is typical of Leslie's forceful abstract paintings and collages of this period. It combines painted and torn papers tacked to the back of a stretcher frame. The artist left gaps that expose parts of the stretcher bars and braces to remind viewers that they are looking at an object rather than into an illusion.