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Saturday, May 19, 2018

French "Classes Duo" Student in Search of Beauford in NYC

Simon, one of the French students in the Classes Duo Paris / Knoxville project, recently visited New York City with his family. One of the family's goals was to view as many Beauford Delaney works as possible.

Juliette Blache, the project coordinator in Paris, received an e-mail from Simon's mother with the following photo attached:

Simon and Composition 16 at MoMA
Image courtesy of Simon's mother

The message revealed that the family had just visited MoMA and that Simon was excited to stand next to an original Beauford Delaney abstract.

The family had visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and learned that the Met's Beauford Delaney work is not currently on display. They had also planned to visit the Studio Museum of Harlem, but learned that the museum is undergoing renovation.

Blache immediately contacted me to share the photo and said Simon's mother wanted me to recommend other places where they could view Beauford's work. I told them about the five works held by the Whitney Museum of American Art and suggested that they go to the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery (MRG) as well.

Simon and his family did visit the gallery and they had a wonderful experience there. Simon and his mom shared the information below:

Simon and MRG Senior Associate Zachary Ross "swapped stories" about Beauford - with Simon sharing many of the things he has learned about Beauford through Classes Duo. As an example, he told Ross that Beauford modeled with Tennessee red clay when he was a child. Ross told Simon that he / she was aware of this and shared that Beauford lived on rue Vercingétorix (a street that is very near Simon's school) in Paris.

Ross invited Simon and his family to go "behind the scenes" to visit the area where many of Beauford's paintings are stored. Simon reported that they saw a portrait, a "painting of a man and a woman," and two abstract paintings, one of which is an "enormous" yellow painting found in the Liquid Light: Paris Abstractions catalog from the exhibition of the same name organized by MRG in 1999.

Liquid Light catalog cover
Image courtesy of Simon's mother

Image of yellow abstract painting in Liquid Light catalog
Image courtesy of Simon's mother

Simon said that Ross explained that "Beauford looked out his window to paint what he saw, but 'in abstract.'"

Simon's mother has exchanged e-mails with Ross and has given him the link for the Classes Duo timeline so everyone at MRG can follow the project's progress. Ross has shared the link for the timeline with everyone at the gallery and is excited that Beauford has so many young fans!

Last week, Simon proudly returned to school bearing a copy of the Liquid Light catalog, which Ross graciously offered to Simon. The children at Jean Zay Elementary Public School now have the Resonance of Form and Liquid Light catalogs to use for inspiration when they create art during the Classes Duo project.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

How wonderful! Keep sharing and keep reflecting on Beauford's work.