(1952) oil on canvas
36 1/8" x 30 1/8" / 91.8 x 76.5 cm
signed and dated
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Image courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY
This painting was enjoyed by two private collectors prior to finding its way to MRG. Among the gallery's notes about the work is the following statement:
Rehearsal is extremely autobiographical and the church choir subject is one that naturally resonated with Delaney. His father Samuel Delaney was a Methodist minister, and his favorite brother, Samuel Emery Delaney, was a gospel singer and a member of a jubilee quartet that traveled throughout the South singing spirituals and gospels. Delaney himself loved to sing and occasionally gave recitals in New York clubs and concert halls.
Rehearsal was one of the paintings shown at Beauford's final solo exhibition at the Roko Gallery in New York (December 29, 1952 - January 22, 1953). In her Art News article about the exhbition, Betty Holloway described the painting has having a "solemn" mood.
In 1994, Rehearsal was displayed in New York once again - this time at the Philippe Briet Gallery. The solo show was called Beauford Delaney: The New York Years (1929-1952). It consisted of 47 works that Beauford created between 1929 and 1953.
Eleanor Heartney wrote an insightful review of the exhibition (Art in America, November 1994), which included multiple works inspired by musical themes. She says the following about Rehearsal:
In a different mood, Rehearsal (1952) depicts a gospel choir practicing beneath the gothic arches of brilliantly colored church windows.
She then goes on to briefly discuss Beauford's "disappearance from the consciousness of the New York art world," attributing it in part to Beauford's emigration from New York to Paris at precisely the time when New York was becoming recognized as "the world's cultural capital."
Michael Rosenfeld Gallery
100 11th Avenue at 19th Street
New York, NY 10011