Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is partnering with the Wells International Foundation (WIF) and Reid Hall to bring an exhibition of original Beauford Delaney works to Reid Hall in Paris in February 2016!

We value your support!

TO MAKE A DONATION, CLICK HERE.
(All or part of your gift through WIF may qualify as a charitable deductible in the U.S.)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Melancholy, Sorrow, and Joy - Part 1

As I negotiate the aftermath of the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition, I'm stunned to realize that six weeks have already passed since the closure of the show!

Catalog cover for Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color

Thanks to the exhibition, I've had the opportunity to meet lots of people and to introduce Beauford's work to many who were previously unaware of him and his artistic genius.

And I've had the opportunity to listen to and read thoughts and scholarly critiques of the works displayed in the exhibit.

In today's post, I'm highlighting two remarks that are remarkably similar in sentiment, yet made by individuals who have never met each other. I then illustrate them with images of Beauford's work.

The first comes from Marc Albert-Levin, the French art critic who contributed the article entitled Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color: A Critical Review of Beauford's Portraiture.

In his essay entitled “L’anachronique du flâneur N° 12,” ("Anachronic Chronicle, N° 12"), Albert-Levin describes his interactions with painter Herbert Gentry, who was a friend of Beauford. He says that when he and Gentry got together, they would often speak of Beauford:

We might talk about the way a canvas painted by Beauford could imperceptibly take you through all the colors of the prism and express all the possible nuances from deep sorrow to exhilarating joy, from the indelible sadness of the flowery wallpaper of a cheap hotel room to a whirlwind of bright and vivid colors, the large solar festival promised to the blessed of all religions and faiths.

The second comes from Cary Alan Johnson, writer and human rights consultant:

I had a chance to look at the catalog. I am drawn to Beauford's colors--something seems so melancholy, yet on the verge of joy.

Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color does indeed take you through all colors of the prism. But what any observer experience in terms of emotion as described in the two quotes above depends upon what that observer brings to his or her interaction with each individual work.

I daresay that many would consider the vibrant colors of the works below to represent the emotion of joy.

Untitled
(1970) Mixed media on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Les Embruns
(1963) Mixed media on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Untitled
(1960) Mixed media on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

But finding melancholy and sadness in the paintings from this exhibition could be far more subjective. We'll explore this in next week's post.

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COMING SOON:
Video of Beauford Delaney art exhibition!


Because of the tremendous success of the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition held at Columbia Global Centers | Paris (February 4-March 15, 2016), Les Amis and the Wells International Foundation (WIF) are creating a video documentary of the show and the associated cultural and educational programs. We plan to use this documentary to encourage U.S. and European museums to host the exhibition.

WE VALUE YOUR SUPPORT!

To contribute to the production of the video, click HERE.

To sign-up to receive the latest behind-the-scenes news about the show, click HERE.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Beauford at Swann Auction Galleries: April 2016 Sale Results

Swann Auction Galleries held its spring African-American Fine Art on April 7, 2016.

Two of the three Beauford Delaney works offered at auction were sold.

The startlingly vibrant gouache entitled Untitled (Composition in Purple, Blue and Green) (Lot 41) sold for $6,750.

Untitled (Composition in Purple, Blue and Green)
(circa late 1950s) Gouache on Schoeller Parole paper
450x300 mm; 17 3/4x11 3/4 inches
Signed in red gouache, lower right
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The gouache entitled Untitled (Abstract in Mustard Yellow and Gray Green, Mallorca) (Lot 42) sold for $6,250.

Untitled Untitled (Abstract in Mustard Yellow and Gray Green, Mallorca)
(1961) Gouache on thin wove paper
495x648 mm; 19 1/2x25 1/2 inches
Signed, dated and inscribed "San Telmo, Mallorca" in ink, lower right
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

All sale prices mentioned above include Swann's buyer's premium.*

Lot 16, an untitled waterfront landscape done in oil on linen canvas, remains unsold.

Untitled (Waterfront Landscape)
(1941) Oil on linen canvas
394x493 mm; 15 1/2x19 1/2 inches
Signed and dated in oil, lower right
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator



*At auction, there are two prices--the hammer price, or the price at which the item sells during the auction, and the price with the buyer's premium. All auction houses have a buyer's premium that the buyer pays to the auction house on top of the hammer price. The buyer’s premium for items purchased directly through Swann is 25%. Swann Auction Galleries now reports the "hammer price" and the price that include the buyer's premium in its online catalog.


************
COMING SOON:
Video of Beauford Delaney art exhibition!


Because of the tremendous success of the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition held at Columbia Global Centers | Paris (February 4-March 15, 2016), Les Amis and the Wells International Foundation (WIF) are creating a video documentary of the show and the associated cultural and educational programs. We plan to use this documentary to encourage U.S. and European museums to host the exhibition.

WE VALUE YOUR SUPPORT!

To contribute to the production of the video, click HERE.

To sign-up to receive the latest behind-the-scenes news about the show, click HERE.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color: A Critical Review of Beauford’s Portraiture

Marc Albert-Levin is a French art critic, translator, and writer. Author of numerous monographs on contemporary artists, he has collaborated with a number of published reviews over the years. These include Cimaise, Les Lettres françaises, Jazz Hot, Passage d’Encre, and Art Press.

The text below represents Albert-Levin’s English translation of excerpts from his most recent essay, “L’anachronique du flâneur N° 12,”
("Anachronic Chronicle, N° 12"), which is published in French at www.saisonsdeculture.com.

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When, at the beginning of a recent visit, Michel Ragon asked me his recurrent question: “What have you done this week?”, it was not easy to answer. Because for me that week had been mainly marked by the exhibition, at the Columbia Global Centers in Montparnasse, of an African-American painter I knew well and greatly admired. His name was Beauford Delaney and I could not think about him without emotion or affection.

Catalog cover: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color
Self-portrait
Undated, Oil on canvas
76 x 57 cm; 29.9" x 22.4"
Private collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The exhibition held at the Columbia Global Centers in Paris at 4, rue de Chevreuse, 75006 from February 4th to February 26th 2016 (editor’s note: the exhibition was extended through March 15th) presented some forty works of Beauford Delaney: oils on canvas, watercolors, colored inks or mixed technique on paper, all coming from private collections in Paris.

Beauford lived in Paris from 1953 to 1979, the year of his death. For twenty years, his work played on two registers. First what was called in France "lyrical abstraction" and in the US "abstract expressionism". On the other hand, he did portraits in a very personal fashion. It is as if he had abandoned all conventions, with a desire, for each canvas, to paint as he had never done it before. I see no other equivalent, with the possible exception of “Le Douanier” Rousseau’s portraits that can be seen right now (April 2016) in a beautiful exhibition at the Musée d'Orsay.

In Beauford’s portraits there is something that might have more to do with the empathy felt by the painter for his model than with pictorial technique. An effort, when he faces the man or the woman he is looking at, to find another resemblance, deeper than the photographic one. A clean sweep of all conventions, including perspective, in order to find, when looking at a person, which colors define him or her best.

Portrait of Robert Tricoire
1969, Oil on canvas
65 x 54 cm; 25.6" x 21.2"
Private collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

In the portrait of Robert Tricoire, the diaphanous quality of the skin and the transparency of the eyes contrast with the bottle-green background and the navy blue sweater. In the portrait of Mrs. Du Closel, Beauford’s benefactress who, in his final years, put at his disposal a studio before he was hospitalized, what strikes most is a lightness that leads almost to evanescence.

Portrait of Vassili Pikoula
1970, Oil on canvas
130 x 99 cm; 51.2" x 38.9"
Private collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

One of the most impressive paintings in this exhibition was a relatively large, 130 x 99 cm oil on canvas portrait of Mrs Vassili Pikoula, dated 1970. Propped in a chair, Pikoula seems to fix the viewer with the dignity of an empress. She stands out as much as she vanishes in an abstract background of great finesse and subtlety. The pattern of her dress … the drapery of a curtain behind it … everything is suggested, nothing too heavily stated.

Man in African Dress
1972, Watercolor
40.6 x 31.7 cm; 15.9" x 12.5"
Private collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Also reproduced in the catalog is a watercolor from 1972 depicting a young “Man in African Dress” to whom Beauford conferred the same regal quality. Seated cross-legged on his stool in a large yellow robe, his face irradiates the same pink as the light passing through the doorway. Yes, you read well, this is a young Black man - recognizable by the color of his arms and an ankle not covered by the dress - but whose face is illuminated by a pink light. And the floor is also invaded by the same flood of light. The color pink reflects the softness and tenderness with which Beauford intended to surround his model.

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Les Amis de Beauford Delaney, Columbia Global Centers | Paris, and the Wells International Foundation (WIF) brought you this exhibition of Beauford Delaney works at Reid Hall in Paris.
We're creating a documentary of the exhibition that will encourage U.S. and European museums to host it!

To contribute to the funding for this effort, click HERE.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color: A Successful Exhibition!

After a hugely successful run (February 4-29) and a two-week extension (March 1-15) at Columbia Global Centers | Paris at Reid Hall, the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition has come to an end.

In previous blog posts about the exhibition, I've brought you information about the prelude (including the University of Arizona Augmented Reality project) and the catalog, as well as the opening, the round table discussion, and the Global Educator Program that comprised much of the event schedule.

Today, I'm sharing photos of the celebration of Beauford's life in Paris, the screening of the documentary Paris Noir, and some of the guided visits conducted by my co-curator, Laurence Choko, and me.

Celebration of Beauford's Life in Paris
(Sunday, 21 February 2016)


Attendees discussing the life of Beauford Delaney
© Discover Paris!

Monique Y. Wells giving presentation
© Discover Paris!

Geneviève Brouard points out friends in a photo
of an event that took place at the
American Cultural Center in 1969
© Discover Paris!

Making comments about and sharing memories of Beauford
Top (left to right):
Bob Tomlinson, Zuka Mitelberg, Arnaud du Closel
Bottom (left to right):
Jean-Loup Msika, Velma Bury, Marc Albert-Levin
© Discover Paris!

Screening of Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light
(Thursday, 25 February 2016)


Monique welcomes the crowd to the screening
© Discover Paris!

Julia Browne talks about the documentary
© Discover Paris!

Samuel Légitimus (left) and members of the
James Baldwin Collective
at the screening
© Discover Paris!

Guided Visits to Exhibition
(multiple dates throughout the exhibition)


Participants for February 27 visit
© Discover Paris!

Presentation of the "inks on paper" abstract
© J Rêve International

Laurence Choko talks about Beauford's contribution
to French art history
© Discover Paris!

Students admire a Delaney painting
© Discover Paris!

Viewing the works in the Salle de Conferences
© Discover Paris!

Talking about The Eye
© Discover Paris!

Several museums have expressed interest in hosting the exhibition. This is an exciting development! Les Amis will be studying these inquiries over the next few weeks.

Now that the exhibition has ended, I will take a break from blogging. Look for a new post in April 2016.

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Les Amis de Beauford Delaney, Columbia Global Centers | Paris, and the Wells International Foundation (WIF) have brought you this exhibition of Beauford Delaney works at Reid Hall in Paris.
WE STILL REQUIRE FUNDING FOR THE SHOW!

To contribute, click HERE.