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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Beauford at the Roko Gallery for Negro History Week 1949

For Les Amis' last blog posting for Black History Month 2012, I am pleased that I have unearthed a tidbit of information to share about Beauford and the celebration of African-American history in the U.S. I found it in David Leeming's biography entitled Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney.

Beauford exhibited paintings at the now defunct Roko Gallery in February 1949 in a group show of African-American artists as a celebration of Negro History Week. One of the works shown was his Still Life with Pears (aka Still Life with Fruit), shown below:

Still Life with Pears
(1946) Oil on canvas
Image from the Artsmia.org Website

This painting was particularly admired by art critic Elaine de Koonig, who described it as being a "violent impasto."

According to Leeming, most of the paintings that Beauford entered into this show were "expressionistic." But he also exhibited a painting of a "specifically African-American subject" called Harlem Blue. It depicted a nighttime Harlem scene that Beauford rendered in the style of his Greene Street paintings.

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