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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Where to Find Beauford's Art: Swann Galleries 2012 African-American Fine Art Sale

As I reported in my first article about Swann Galleries last October, the auction house launched its department of African-American Fine Art in 2007. Swann Galleries is the only major auction house conducting regular sales of African-American fine art today. The works that it sells are consigned by individuals, libraries, schools, museums, and dealers the world over. Thus far, Swann Galleries has put twenty-eight (28) of Beauford’s paintings up for auction.

For the February 2012 African-American Fine Art auction, Swann Galleries is proposing three Beauford Delaney works that were painted when Beauford lived in Paris. The gallery catalog notes that his Paris paintings reflect “a sensitivity to light and a quieter voice than the noise and tumult depicted in his views of Greenwich Village.”

The first one (my favorite of the three) is an oil painting in blue, black, orange, and yellow:

Lot 22
Untitled (Abstract Composition)
(1961) Oil monotype on heavy wove paper
Photo courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

It is signed, dated and inscribed "La ...." in ink at the lower right. No further description of the work is provided. The estimated sale price is $15,000 to $25,000.

The second and third paintings are studies in green:

Lot 129
(1962) Gouache and watercolor on wove paper
Photo courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Lot 130
Untitled (Abstraction in Green)
(1964) Gouache on thick wove paper
Photo courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

The catalog describes Lot 129 as “lush” and “atmospheric” and indicates that the painting is signed and dated in ink at the lower right. It quotes art historian Michael D. Plante as saying the following about the work: "nothing is described nor contoured; the viewer is left to be seduced by Delaney's painterly touch." The estimated sale price is $10,000 - $15,000.

The catalog description of Lot 130 is limited to the notation that the painting is signed in red ink and dated in blue ink at the lower right. The estimated sale price is $10,000 - $15,000.

The African-American Fine Art auction will be held on February 16, 2012. To find out about the buying process, visit the following page on the gallery’s Web site: http://www.swanngalleries.com/buying2.cgi.

After the auction is over, I will report on which of the abovementioned paintings sold and at what price.

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