William LeRoy Flint
Birth Date: 1909
Death Date: 1991
Artist Gallery
Leroy Walter Flint was born in Ashtabula, Ohio, the son of a hardware dealer. After graduating from high school, he went to work for the American Fork and Hoe Company where he spent five years learning to shape and forge hot metal. Flint saved his money to go to art school but the stock market crash wiped out his savings and his plant closed down leaving him unemployed. Flint won a scholarship in 1932 to the Cleveland Institute of Art. After graduation, he took a job with the WPA and was assigned to make a lithographic study of the Ohio River and its people. He and a friend, Charles Field, purchased an old boat and floated down the Ohio River until they reached Louisville, Kentucky and then traveled down to Vicksburg, Mississippi. In the summer of 1939, Flint and another friend spent the summer in Searcy, Alabama, painting. Flint returned to WPA and worked as a painter, often painting murals. Leroy Flint's art at this time was mainly realistic and sometimes regionalist. Satire and social commentary figured prominently. By 1940 he had become the executive secretary of the Cleveland Artist's Union and a member of the American Artists' Congress. When the United States entered World War II, Flint accepted the post of senior instructor in the map reproduction department of the Army Corps of Engineering at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. After the war, he worked three years as director for the Cleveland City Planning Commission. Flint then taught art at the Cleveland Museum of Art and then became both curator and director of the Akron Art Institute. In 1965 he left this position to become professor of art at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. After 1945 Flint began to experiment with abstract forms in art. By 1950 his paintings and drawings concentrated upon explorations of lyrical forms and rhythms far removed from his figurative satirical art of the 1930s. Flint describes his “Jet Geometry”: “My work is initially reductive. I attempt to reduce an experience to a particular configuration of color – value – shape, relationships that will move me in somewhat the same way that the original experience did. In Jet Geometry- Arizona seems to be a sort of crossroads for jet traffic which often fills the unbelievable blue (sky) with a crisp white geometry”.