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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Beauford at Swann Auction Galleries: October 2018 Sale

On Thursday, October 4, Swann Auction Galleries offered three Beauford Delaney works at its African-American Fine Art sale.

Untitled (African Figure) is a stunning yellow abstraction from Beauford's Paris years. Part of the description posted by Swann reads as follows:

"Delaney had an interest in African sculpture going back to his reading of Alain Locke's New Negro, and visiting artist Cloyd Boykin's Primitive African Arts Center in the 1930s. Having seen the influence of African art on Picasso and other modernist painters in both New York and Paris, Delaney often incorporated African motifs and figures, including Earth Mother, 1950 and Makonde Figure, 1952. There is also an oil on paper work that is the mirror image of this figure in the collection of the Knoxville Museum of Art."

Untitled (African Figure)
(1968) Oil on cotton canvas
610x502 mm; 24x19 3/4 inches
Signed and dated in oil, lower left
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The estimated sale price for this painting was $40,000 - $60,000. It sold for $173,000, including buyer's premium*.

Untitled (Abstracted Landscape) was a gift from Beauford to James and Gloria Jones, friends of his who lived in Paris and supported him considerably.

Untitled (Abstracted Landscape)
(1968) Watercolor on wove paper
559x762 mm; 22x30 inches
Signed, dated and inscribed "Avec amour. Pour Gamie"
in ink, lower right
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The estimated sale price for this painting was $6,000 - $9,000. It sold for $6,000, including buyer's premium.

The final painting offered was a figurative painting from Beauford's New York years.

The Swann Auction Galleries catalog describes Untitled (The Artist and Woman Seated) as

"... a remarkable and important work - a large 1940 oil painting with a self-portrait of the artist. This interior scene is a revealing and intimate view has been captured in only a few photographs - its location is not known."

Untitled (The Artist and Woman Seated)
(1940) Oil on linen canvas
762x914 mm; 30x36 inches
Signed and dated in oil, lower left
Image courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

In Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, a photograph of Beauford in his Greene Street studio shows him surrounded by paintings, including Untitled (The Artist and Woman Seated). The auction catalog speculates that the woman seated next to Beauford may be Jessie, a dancer and girlfriend of James Baldwin's friend, Emile Capouya.

The estimated sale price for this painting was $200,000 - $300,000. It went unsold.

*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% of the hammer price, up to and including $100,000; 20% of the hammer price above $100,000 up to and including $1,000,000; 12% of the hammer price after $1,000,000. Swann Auction Galleries now reports the "hammer price" and the price that include the buyer's premium in its online catalog.

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