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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Where to Find Beauford's Art: Midwestern US

Several museums in the Midwest hold works by Beauford:

Minneapolis Institute of Arts - Minneapolis, MN
Art Institute of Chicago - Chicago, IL 
University of Michigan Museum of Art - Ann Arbor, MI
University of Iowa Museum of Art - Iowa City, IA

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) produced the most recent one-man show of Beauford's work.  It was mounted in 2004 and traveled to three U.S. museums (Knoxville Museum of Art, Greenville County Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art) before closing in January 2006.

Please refer to the following articles published on the Les Amis blog to learn more about this exposition:

Anatomy of an Art Exposition - Part 1
Anatomy of an Art Exposition - Part 2

MIA holds three works by Beauford.  The best known is the untitled abstract expressionist painting (1954) that Beauford created on a fragment of an old raincoat that he used for canvas.  Its viewing location is listed as G375 on the MIA Web site.  MIA holds two additional works by Beauford that are not currently on view:

Abstract composition (1955) Gouache and watercolor
Ciel (Sky) (1960) Color Screenprint.

I have presented the works held by the Art Institute of Chicago in a previous posting:

Beauford at the Art Institute of Chicago

including a close look at the astonishing self-portrait that hangs there.

The University of Michigan Museum of Art holds three paintings by Beauford.  Street Scene (1951) and House through Trees (1952) are oil paintings that predate his Paris years.

Street Scene
(1951) Oil on canvas

House through Trees (Yaddo)
(1952) Oil on canvas

Beauford painted Composition (1960) during the time he lived in Clamart. Though it was a turbulent year for him, it was also an active one - his works were shown in a one-man show and a group show at the Facchetti Gallery and two additional group shows in Paris.

(1960) Gouache on paper

The University of Iowa Museum of Art holds an untitled Beauford Delaney painting that dates from 1929.  It is classified as a drawing, and is not currently on view.  The orange and brown hues in this work remind me of autumn.

(1929) Watercolor 
The University of Iowa Museum of Art
Gift of the Estate of James Lechay, 2003.5

Though this painting predates what is defined as Beauford's abstract expressionist period, you can see that it is definitely an abstract work.  Indeed, biographer David A. Leeming indicates in Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney that "in the 1920s Beauford was already flirting with a more abstract approach to painting."

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