Monroe Gallery Presents a Major Exhibition by the Renowned Photographer Neil Leifer

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Major exhibition documents changes in sports, culture, and society overmore than four decades.

Monroe Gallery of Photography, 112 Don Gaspar, is pleased to announce a major exhibition of photographs by Neil Leifer that document the changes in sports, culture, and society over a period of more than 40 years: “Neil Leifer: Then and Now”. The exhibition opens April 21 with a public reception for Neil Leifer from 5 – 7 PM. The exhibition continues through July 1.

Neil Leifer is responsible for photographing many of the images we hold in our minds of the iconic figures of sports history. “Neil Leifer’s unforgettable photograph of Muhammad Ali standing over a fallen Sonny Liston is perhaps the greatest in sports history, but it’s only one of countless examples of his artistry. You have to be a Neil Leifer admirer, for you have been seeing his pictures and they’ve been shaping your impressions and memories for decades” - Bob Costas

In 2005 Sports Illustrated commissioned Neil Leifer to travel a "Senior Citizen's” circuit throughout the year, revisiting major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, the first pitch for the new Washington Nationals, the Kentucky Derby, The Masters, The Tour de France, and many others. Several of these assignments have been featured in special issues of Sports Illustrated, and a new book “Neil Leifer: Then and Now” will be published in the Fall of 2006.

Photographs in the exhibition offer vivid contrasts in the changes that have occurred in sports, athletes, culture, and society over more than 4 decades. Examples include: President John F. Kennedy attending the baseball season opener in Washington, DC in 1961 and President George W. Bush doing the same 34 years later as baseball returned to the capital. More than 50 photographs taken 40 or more years apart further document the commercialization of sports arenas, the racial integration of sports, and the intense importance now placed on fitness and athleticism.

Neil Leifer became a professional photographer while still in his teens. Beginning in 1960 as a freelancer, his pictures began regularly appearing in every major national magazine, including the Saturday Evening Post, Look, LIFE, Newsweek, Time and, most often, Sports Illustrated.

In August 1972, Leifer became a staff photographer for Sports Illustrated, and in February 1978 he became a staff photographer for Time magazine. In 1988 he was made a contributing photographer at LIFE magazine and spent the next two years dividing his time between Time and LIFE magazines. Leifer left Time, Inc. in 1990. By that time, his photographs had appeared on more than 200 Sports Illustrated, Time, and People covers. He has photographed his favorite subject, Muhammad Ali, on almost 60 different occasions and more than 20 one-on-one photo sessions. One of Leifer’s best-known images is the iconic photograph of a glowering Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston after knocking him out in 1965. Leifer and Muhammad Ali returned to the arena in Lewiston, Maine to commemorate the 40th anniversary of this historic event.

There have been 11 books devoted to his work; and his 1978 Abrams book, "Sports", was hailed by many reviewers as the best of its kind ever. "The Best of Leifer"; a retrospective of over forty years of Leifer’s photojournalism, was published in 2001, and “Portraits” was published in 2003.

Leifer has traveled all over the world on sports assignments. He has photographed 15 Olympic Games (7 winter and 8 summer), 4 World Soccer Cups, 15 Kentucky Derbies, countless World Series games, the first 10 Superbowls and every important heavyweight title fight since Floyd Patterson beat Ingemar Johansson to regain the title in 1960.

While Neil Leifer now devotes almost 100% of his time to producing and directing films, there is a very good chance that you'll spot him ringside, camera in hand, at any big heavyweight championship bout. "It is the one sport I still love shooting."

Monroe Gallery of Photography was founded by Sidney S. Monroe and Michelle A. Monroe. Building on more than four decades of collective experience, the gallery specializes in classic black & white photography with an emphasis on humanist and photojournalist imagery. The gallery also represents a select group of contemporary and emerging photographers.

Gallery hours are 10 to 6 Monday through Friday, 10 – 5 Sunday. Admission is free. For further information, images for press, or to arrange an interview with Neil Leifer, please call Monroe Gallery of Photography: 505.992.0800.

MONROE GALLERY OF PHOTOGRAPHY

112 DON GASPAR

SANTA FE, NM 87501

http://www.monroegallery.com

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