Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is partnering with the Wells International Foundation (WIF) to take the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition to the U.S.!

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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Where to Find Beauford's Art: Swann Auction Galleries African American Fine Art Auction - October 2013

After selling a Beauford Delaney self-portrait at its African American Fine Art Auction in February, Swann Galleries is pleased to offer three magnificent paintings by Beauford at its October 2013 auction: Point of Departure: Postwar African-American Fine Art.

The first work that appears in the auction catalog is entitled Embrun:

Embrun
(1963) Watercolor on wove paper
641x501 mm; 25 1/4x19 3/4 inches
Signed and dated "July 19, 1963" in ink, lower right
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

This painting was exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, with the label on the frame back. The estimated sale price is $8,000 - $12,000.

The second of the three paintings is entitled Untitled (Composition in Blue).

Untitled (Composition in Blue)
(1963) Watercolor on wove paper
641x501 mm; 25 1/4x19 3/4 inches
Signed, dated and inscribed "Paris" in ink, lower right
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The estimated sale price for this work is $8,000 - $12,000.

The third painting, also called Untitled, is the pièce de résistance – the showpiece of the three works. It was created in Beauford's favorite color - yellow.

Untitled
(1968) Oil on cotton canvas
610x502 mm; 24x19 3/4 inches
Signed and dated in oil, lower left
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It was also exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, with the label on the frame back.

Swann Auction Galleries describes Untitled as follows:

In this striking canvas, Beauford Delaney combines a representation of an African fertility figure within a saturated yellow color field painting. Delaney had an interest in African sculpture going back to his reading of Alain Locke's New Negro, and visiting artist Cloyd Boykin's Primitive African Arts Center in the 1930s. Having seen the influence of African art on Picasso and other modernist painters in both New York and Paris, Delaney often incorporated African motifs and figures, including Earth Mother, 1950 and Mokonde Figure, 1952. This oil is from the same year as his Portrait of Ella Fitzgerald in the Walter O. Evans Collection of African-American Art, the last fully productive year of his Parisian period. In both paintings, the figure is subsumed within the dominant yellow swirls of color. Three years later, Delaney even portrayed himself as an African figure in his Self-Portrait, 1971. Leeming p. 41 and 102; Powell p. 58.

Its estimated sale price is $50,000 - $75,000.

All three paintings were acquired directly from the artist by James and Gloria Jones in Paris. From the estate of Gloria Jones, New York, they were acquired for a private New York collection. American writer James Jones and his wife Gloria were close friends, collectors and supporters of Beauford while he lived in Paris.

Point of Departure: Postwar African-American Fine Art is listed as Sale 2323 on Swann Auction Galleries Web site. For details, click here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Where to Find Beauford's Art: Christie's Paris October 2013 Rendez-Vous / Intérieurs Contemporains Auction

Sylvain Briet - an expert on Beauford’s art who has been called upon by Christie's in Paris and London to authenticate works for sale - has graciously provided Les Amis with the following information about a singular Delaney painting that will be offered at auction by Christie's Paris on October 9, 2013:

Untitled, 1970
Oil on canvas, 65 x 54 cm.
© Christie's Images, 2013
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Painted at the artist’s studio : 53 rue Vercingétorix, Paris 14ème
Signed, dated, and situated in blue ink ‘Beauford Delaney 1970 Paris’ (lower middle)
Signed and dated in red paint ‘Beauford Delaney 1970’ (lower right)

Beauford Delaney was a total artist, an inventive artist. This painting (done at the age of 68) shows his perpetual interest in researching and experimenting with new techniques and visual effects—in what I call creating. The organization of forms on the canvas, the use of bright yellow that can even be found on one of the edges of the back of the painting, as well as the clear border that frames the composition, are all elements that affirm that this painting was created by Beauford.

Rear of Untitled, 1970
© Christie's Images, 2013
 © Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The double signature is not unique to Delaney. His red signature can be found on All the Races, another painting dated 1970 that my brother Philippe and I showed at the Philippe Briet Gallery. The form of the letters in blue ink (made with a pen) is also characteristic of Beauford's style during that era.

When we enlarge the reproduction to its maximum we have a true feeling of the painting, its texture, and how Beauford Delaney managed to combine its colors with softness, which is quite remarkable.

Provenance:
There is unfortunately no record between the moment the painting left Beauford’s studio and its purchase by the actual owner in the south of France. The work was sold to the actual owner in 1998 by Michel Martiniani at Art Trade, an antique shop in La Garde. This small city is located in the Var department, not far from the French Riviera and Saint-Paul de Vence, where Beauford stayed and painted at James Baldwin’s home on several occasions in 1971, 72 and 73. But this was long after the painting was created.

Untitled, 1970, Lot 146, will be offered for sale at Christie’s, 9 avenue Matignon, Paris 8ème, during the Rendez-Vous / Intérieurs Contemporains auction, Sale 3557, on October 9, starting at 2:30 PM. Estimate: €4,000 - €6,000 ($5,316 - $7,975).

Saturday, September 14, 2013

re-Searching Beauford Delaney: A Final Reflection

This post is contributed by E. L. Kornegay, Jr., Ph. D., author of the many "re-Searching Beauford" articles and other posts that you'll find on the Les Amis blog. Though it is the final article in the "re-Searching Beauford" series, I will continue to ask Dr. Kornegay to share his musings about Beauford's legacy as it pertains to inspiration and service in the workings of the Baldwin-Delaney Institute.

************

You could not have told me nearly three years ago that I would be where I am now, in great part, because of Beauford Delaney.

My study of James Baldwin and my desire to understand the man who taught him how to write so colorfully led to me “meet” Beauford.

James Baldwin and Beauford
at the American Cultural Center, Paris
Photo: U.S. Information Service

Through that introduction I have met wonderful people – friends of Beauford, seen beautiful works of art – Beauford’s paintings, and encountered wonderful memories – Beauford’s spirit. And like James Baldwin, I have been inspired to write by the man whom he called his mentor. I have earned my Ph.D., written my first book (to be released in December of this year), and established the Baldwin-Delaney Institute for Academic Enrichment and Faith Flourishing at Chicago Theological Seminary. Needless to say, I have walked through the unusual door!*

When my soul looks back over this time, I find myself in the grasp of Beauford’s model of manhood; a manhood that dares to live within the grace given by God to pursue the fulfillment of your gift. It takes great energy to maintain the worldly identities that are thrust upon us and the pursuit of one’s vocation beyond the stifling dependency on these identities often comes at great cost. Yet, that cost is minimal when put up against the madness of pursuing mediocrity, the middle ground, the easy life, the safe thing to do.

The door that Beauford opened is one that few walk through completely and the path he pioneered is one that few navigate successfully. I see Beauford and imagine his exhaustion: an exhaustion that comes with carrying the great burden of manhood encumbered by blackness and being misunderstood sexually. Yet, his craft did not fail him nor does it fail us. In spite of it all, the rage never limited the beauty of his art or the import of his sacrifice, even if it cost him his sanity.

Untitled (Composition in Blue)
1963 Watercolor on Wove Paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

I think that more than anything, the purpose of the paintings Beauford left for us is to inspire us to live our greatest vision of ourselves. So here I am at the end of one thing and the beginning of another. It is Beauford that guided me here, giving me the strength to go through the unusual door and unto the path of greatness. It is not a path for the faint of heart and Beauford reminds us of what can happen, but not that it has to happen. So, I move forward wanting to make the world a better place, desiring to be a good steward of the path of vocational freedom, and to love well while I live.

Beauford Delaney
Rue Guilleminot
France 1973
© Errol Sawyer

Every time I look at Beauford’s face, every time I look at one of his paintings, I am reminded of this. Thank you Beauford, for showing me the way and for being my friend.

*According to James Baldwin, the “unusual door” is a lyric from a song that “Beauford would often sing.” Baldwin speaks of this in his essay “The Price of the Ticket” in Collected Essays ed. Toni Morrison.(New York: Library of America, 1998), p. 830.



Saturday, September 7, 2013

Where to Find Beauford's Art: Dolan/Maxwell Gallery

On Thursday I had the pleasure of speaking with Ron Rumford, director of the Dolan/Maxwell Gallery in Philadelphia. Dolan/Maxwell is proud to offer two Beauford Delaney paintings for sale:

Untitled (Grape Motif)
(1946) Pastel on paper
image: 17 x 23.125 inches
sheet: 18 x 24 inches
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Untitled (Yellow series)
(1962) Oil on linen
26 x 21 inches
Annotated in verso
© Estate of Beauford Delaney,
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Both works were obtained from a private collector whose husband knew Beauford personally.

About these paintings, Rumford writes:

Beauford Delaney's pastel was made in New York c. 1946 and reflects a dynamic, frenzied energy often associated with that city. He contradicts our expectations of what a simple bunch of grapes might imply by surrounding the delicately colored fruit with zigzagging lines that echo the jagged edges of the grape leaves. Powerful, contrasting bands of pinks, purples, blue, and brown shatter the notion that we are looking at a mere still life.

Untitled (Yellow series) 1962 was painted in Paris, where Delaney allows the objective world to escape from his work. Now painting is about light, about applying the paint and finding meaning within the act of mixing color and orchestrating brushstrokes. Yellow is the brightest color of the spectrum and in making this radiant choice Beauford assigns himself the greatest painting challenge of inventing a new visual reality out of oil paint. He rises to that challenge again and again with the yellow paintings he made in Paris.

Dolan/Maxwell specializes in work by artists from the 1930's to the present, ranging from WPA, Modernist, European, and New York School to African-American and International Contemporary.

Dolan/Maxwell Gallery
2046 Rittenhouse Square Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103 USA
Telephone: 215-732-7787
Facsimile: 215-790-1866
Email:
www.dolanmaxwell.com