Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is partnering with the Wells International Foundation (WIF) to take the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition to the U.S.!

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Teaching Creativity and Science through Beauford's Abstract Expressionist Art - Part 2

In Part 1 of this article, I presented images of abstract works created by French and American students who are participating in Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville, the project that has been inspired by Beauford's life and art.

This week, I'm sharing additional images of works created by students at Jean Zay Elementary Public School in Paris. These were inspired by Beauford's abstract entitled Les Embruns:

Les Embruns
(1963) Mixed media on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

While some students strove to model the forms and angles in Beauford's work,

Les Embruns-inspired work - 4
Oil pastel and watercolor on paper
Image courtesy of Jean Zay Elementary Public School

Les Embruns-inspired work - 1
Mixed oil / watercolor on paper
Image courtesy of Jean Zay Elementary Public School

others let their imaginations run free.

Les Embruns-inspired work - 1
Oil pastel and watercolor on paper
Image courtesy of Jean Zay Elementary Public School

Les Embruns-inspired work - 3
Mixed oil / watercolor on paper
Image courtesy of Jean Zay Elementary Public School

Jean Zay project leader, Juliette Blache, organized the painting session with the intent to have the students learn firsthand the different properties of oil-based and water-based paints and pigments and how the two behave when they are combined (solubility).

For certain works, they began by tracing lines and forms onto paper using oil-based crayons. They then painted over their lines with watercolors and saw how the oil repelled the colors, leaving white traces.

For other works, they stirred oil into watercolor and applied the resulting mixture onto paper.

To create the red, orange, and ochre works shown in last week's blog post, they stirred water into oil-based paint and used the resulting mixture.

Blache described the session as follows:

Exciting scientific experience for children … They had a lot of fun … And they love to paint abstracts more and more. They are finally daring to express their emotions through their paintbrushes!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Teaching Creativity and Science through Beauford's Abstract Expressionist Art - Part 1

As the Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville project unfolds, the student participants on both sides of the Atlantic are exercising their imaginations and learning about science as they create works inspired by Beauford's Abstract Expressionist works.

The Jean Zay students in Paris began their venture into abstraction with Beauford's Untitled (1961):

Untitled
(1961) Mixed media on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

First, they decided to use red, orange, and ochre tones to create works made from a mixture of water-based and oil-based pigments. Here are a couple of examples of them:


Jean Zay mixed media on paper
Image courtesy of Jean Zay Elementary Public School

The fact that the students chose to use a color scheme different than the one Beauford chose allowed them to create spontaneously and to appreciate their work.

Later, they wanted to "copy" Untitled using blue and green hues similar to those in the original painting.


Jean Zay students creating watercolors on paper
Images courtesy of Jean Zay Elementary Public School

Many were frustrated with their inability to accurately reproduce Beauford's lines and colors. Project leader Juliette Blache encouraged them not to worry about making an exact replica and to "let themselves go" during this exercise, as they had done before. But some of the students remained unsatisfied with their results.

Meanwhile, across the ocean, the Nature's Way children selected Beauford's Greece (1967) as their inspiration:

Grèce
(1967) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

They created watercolors and oils based on their views of this painting.

Nature's Way Watercolor on paper by Meah
Image courtesy of Nature's Way Montessori School

Nature's Way oil on canvasboard by MaKenna
Image courtesy of Nature's Way Montessori School

Back in Paris, the Jean Zay kids selected another abstract to model. This time, it was Beauford's Les Embruns (1963):

Les Embruns
(1963) Mixed media on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Next week, I'll present images of the art the students created based on this mixed media work as well as the science behind this creativity exercise.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Beauford's Playlist

Over the years, I've posted several articles about Beauford's love of music. He appreciated all kinds of music, from classical to gospel.

The children who participate in the Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville project are learning about Beauford's life as well as his art. As they begin to explore abstract painting, they are being inspired by the works shown in the 2016 Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition.

To further inspire them, I sent the Classes Duo educators YouTube links to several recordings of music that Beauford appreciated with the intent of having them share the songs with the students. One of the educators - Elise Brunet of the CASPE 6/14 office in Paris - was inspired to create a Beauford Delaney playlist on YouTube so the kids can listen to an uninterrupted medley of songs while they paint!

The selections are based on information found in the Beauford Delaney biography, Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney. They include specific songs mentioned in the book, such as "I'm Glad Salvation is Free" and "Saturday Night Function," as well as other songs by artists that Beauford loved.

Mahalia Jackson - "I"m Glad Salvation is Free"
Screenshot from YouTube video

Listen to the playlist here: Beauford Delaney's Playlist.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Sold for $557,000! - Beauford's Village Street Scene

Beauford's Untitled (Village Street Scene) sold for $557,000 at Swann Auction Galleries' April 5 African American Fine Art sale.

Untitled (Village Street Scene)
(1948) Oil on canvas
737x1016 mm; 29x40 inches
Signed and dated in oil, lower left.
Image from Swann Auction Galleries Web site
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The sale price includes a buyer's premium of 25%*. The hammer price of $460,000 far exceeded the estimated value of the painting ($150,000 - $250,000).

According to the Swann Auction Galleries' Web site, large canvases from Beauford's New York period are extremely scarce - this is only the second to come to auction in the past thirty years.

Nigel Freeman, director of the African-American Fine Art department at Swann, shared that the previous auction record for Beauford's work is $176,250 for Street Scene, a 1950 oil on canvas sold at Clarke Auction Gallery, Larchmont, NY, on October 27, 2008. This work is now called Untitled (Greene Street). See an image of the painting in the Les Amis blog post entitled "La Vie en Rose".

*At auction, there are two prices--the hammer price, or the price at which the item sells during the auction, and the price with the buyer's premium. All auction houses have a buyer's premium that the buyer pays to the auction house in addition to the hammer price. The buyer’s premium for items purchased directly through Swann is 25%. Swann Auction Galleries now reports the "hammer price" and the price that include the buyer's premium in its online catalog.

For more information, contact Nigel Freeman at
.