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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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Not What You Think!

David Leeming indicates in his biography Amazing Grace that Beauford was rarely painted nudes because of his shyness.  This makes the remembrance below, provided by Burt Reinfrank, even more interesting!

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It was a beautiful, sunny autumn afternoon when I knocked on Beauford’s studio door. I heard the echo of Beauford’s voice back in the studio saying “I’m coming.” I could hear him shuffling to the door. It opened and Beauford, with hand outstretched, said “Come in.” I did and, as I looked down the narrow corridor, with white sheets hanging on both sides, into the studio, I saw a naked young man standing facing me full frontal reaching for his pants saying “It's not what you think, it's not what you think!” I hadn’t thought anything at that point, and Beauford was unperturbed.

As it happened, the young man (American) had recently been a guest of Jimmy Baldwin at his house in St. Paul de Vence, as had Beauford at the same time. While there, Beauford had started but not finished a nude portrait of him, which was now on an easel where Beauford was continuing to work on it.


Beauford's Paint Box
© Discover Paris!

My entrance had interrupted this sitting so we all sat down to a tea Beauford made for us. The young man (about 30) was from the western U.S. and lived on a property where the boundaries of three states came together. He regaled us with stories of that region.

That was the only time I saw this young man (circa 1965). But recently, in 2010, I saw a photograph of a group of Delaney paintings in a store room, one of which was a portrait of a nude man. I wonder if it is the finished version of “It’s not what you think”?

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