This work demonstrates Leonard Lehrer’s primacy as a printmaker. Marrying together bold lines with subtle shading, he creates a remarkable three-dimensionality. This beautiful rendition of the opulent Pushkin Gardens, Russia’s first landscape garden when it was built in about 1770 by Catherine the Great, simultaneously has the character of a line drawing with the aliveness of the hyperrealists. This technique, found in all of Lehrer’s Formal Gardens works and a Lehrer hallmark, is difficult to achieve successfully in the challenging arena of lithography.
Perhaps more important to Lehrer’s legacy is his interweaving of classical balance and extreme order, on the one hand, with a romantic vision on the other. He was deeply interested in structure and balance and harmony, with the result of great but restrained beauty.
This work was done while Lehrer was the Director of the School of Art at Arizona State University, working with the legendary print-maker Jules Heller, and was printed at the equally-legendary Tamarind Institute.
This work is part of Lehrer’s Formal Garden series, which also includes “Formal Gardens” (1975), “View of St. Petersburg (1978), “Sabika” (1972), “Royal Garden (Herrenhausen)” (1977), “Italianate Garden” (1973), and “La Granja de San Ildefonso” (1978).
Lehrer is among the country’s leading print-makers, with works at The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, The National Gallery of Art, and The Bibliotheque Nationale de France.