Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is supporting the completion of


the first full-length documentary about Beauford.

Join us in making this video tribute to Beauford a reality!



Saturday, July 23, 2011

Larry Calcagno's Portrait of Beauford

Larry Calcagno's portrait of Beauford is one of the rare examples of someone other than Beauford committing Beauford's image to paper. (See the posting on the Georgia O'Keeffe portraits for other examples.)

Portrait of Beauford Delaney
Lawrence Calcagno
(1972) Acrylic

I wrote about Beauford's friendship with Calcagno in April of this year. The first image in that article is the cover of the catalogue from an art exposition that presented Calcagno's and Beauford's works together as a tribute to their friendship. Calcagno's portrait of Beauford was shown in this exposition.

In the introduction for the catalogue, David Leeming wrote an exquisite summary of Beauford's and Calcagno's relationship:

What Beauford Delaney saw in Larry Calcagno was a soul mate and a lifeline to sanity. What Larry saw in Beauford was a remarkable case of total dedication to the mysterious process by which an individual's external and internal life and the essence of life could be re-created in paint.

Calcagno and Beauford met in 1953, when Beauford came to Paris. They were introduced by a mutual friend, and they became "devoted colleagues." Correspondence between the two men reveals the depth of their friendship, which grew and was strengthened over twenty-plus years.

Calcagno gave Beauford what is perhaps one of the finest tributes of all in a written description of the episode when Beauford disappeared in 1975 and Calcagno and many others scoured the streets of Paris looking for him:

He is about the only person in my life, who gave me generously of deep insights into life—without demanding tribute. A true artist—beyond this world!

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