Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is supporting the completion of


the first full-length documentary about Beauford.

Join us in making this video tribute to Beauford a reality!



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Beauford at the Studio Museum in Harlem

The Studio Museum in Harlem presented the first retrospective exposition of Beauford's work in 1978.

Catalog cover for retrospective at the Studio Museum in Harlem

The exhibit was mounted with the financial support of the Exxon Corporation and the National Endowment for the Arts and was open to the public from April 9 through July 2. It was the first of the museum's Black Masters series - major retrospectives organized with the intent to recognize the work of master African-American painters whose talent and achievements risked being ignored or forgotten. Hale Woodruff and Charles White were the second and third artists, respectively, whose works were featured in this series.

Richard A. Long, who has provided written (Richard A. Long and Beauford Delaney) and video (Richard A. Long Talks about Beauford - Part 1) tributes to Beauford for this blog, conceived of the exposition and organized the show. He was responsible for gathering Beauford's paintings in Paris and having them shipped to the U.S. for the exhibition. Over 60 paintings were shown and most of these were from Beauford's Paris years. Long presents the story of how he came to be the curator of the Studio Museum exposition in Part 2 of his video tribute to Beauford.

The photo on the cover of the catalog was taken by Ahmed Bioud, one of the seven members of the tutelle (trusteeship) that was created by the French government to take care of Beauford's affairs while he was institutionalized at Sainte Anne's Hospital in Paris. One of the portraits that Beauford painted of Bioud was among the works shown in the exhibit.

The catalog features a foreword by Mary Schmidt Campbell, then executive director of the museum; an introduction by Richard A. Long; the chapbook text "The Amazing and Invariable Beauford Delaney" by Henry Miller; and tributes by James Baldwin and Beauford's brother, Joseph. Representations of the works exposed are reproduced in color and black & white. A chronology of Beauford's life and a brief bibliography of publications that mention or feature him are also included.

The Levis Fine Arts Gallery holds three of the paintings shown in the Studio Museum in Harlem exhibition. Click here to view them.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Where to Find Beauford’s Art: Levis Fine Art Gallery

Today I am excited to announce that significant progress has been made toward the settlement of the Beauford Delaney estate! This has been a long time in coming, as 2012 marks the 33rd anniversary of Beauford's passing. It means that many of his "long, lost" paintings will finally be made available to the public for viewing and for sale.

Three such paintings can be found at Levis Fine Art Gallery in Ossining, New York:

Waning Light: Abstraction
(1963) Oil on canvas

Abstraction in Red
(1963) Oil on canvas

Abstraction #12
(1963) Oil on canvas

All three were painted during Beauford's years at the rue Vercingétorix studio and all were exhibited at the Studio Museum of Harlem retrospective mounted in 1978.

Contact Jim Levis at the gallery for pricing:

Levis Fine Art
Ossining, NY 10562 (~45 minutes from Manhattan by car)
Tel: 914-762-4880
Fax: 914-432-8699
Email: jim@levisfineart.com
Web Site: www.levisfineart.com

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Beauford's "Fontana"

In the posting entitled Burt and Pat Reinfrank Remember Beauford, I mentioned that Burt relayed an anecdote to me about a painting that Beauford created in the style of the slash series of artist Lucio Fontana. Here is an image of the painting:

(ca. 1960-61) Gouache on paper
Photo courtesy of Burt and Pat Reinfrank

and here is the story:

Beauford often brought gifts when he was invited to people's homes. He gave the painting shown above to James and Gloria Jones at Christmas in 1960 or 1961. It is inscribed as a gift to "Jimmy and Gloria Jones." (James Jones was one of four independent collectors of Beauford's works in Paris — the others were Ahmed Bioud, Solange du Closel, and the Reinfranks.)

After Jones' death, Gloria Jones gave most of the Jones' collection to Darthea Speyer to sell.

Years later, the gouache shown above was put up for sale on Ebay. Burt saw the black strokes in the painting that mimic the cuts in Lucio Fontana's works and remembered that he and Beauford had discussed Fontana's "slash style" at around the time that the painting is dated. He believes that Beauford created this untitled work soon after that conversation.

The painting did not sell on Ebay and Burt was able to obtain it offline from the person who put the work up for sale.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

More on Beauford's Paris: Ile Saint-Louis

Prompted by last week's posting on Beauford's Paris: Ile Saint-Louis, Beauford's dear friend Burt Reinfrank confirmed that the building that I photographed for the article is indeed the one where James Jones and his family lived on Ile Saint-Louis. Here's a better photo of it:

10, quai d'Orléans
© Discover Paris!

Entrance to 10, quai d'Orléans at 2, rue Budé
© Discover Paris!

Burt and James Jones were on the board of the American Center. Burt commented that Beauford was frequently a guest at the Jones' home for Sunday afternoon pasta. Jones' wife Gloria had the custom of making pasta on Sundays and the couple would have an open house of sorts, inviting numerous people over to enjoy the food and camaraderie.

Burt affirmed Jones' love of Beauford's paintings and told me how Jones arranged to have Life Magazine photograph him in Beauford's rue Vercingétorix studio in an effort to give Beauford some publicity.

Composite of photo from August 4, 1967 Life Magazine article
Photographer: Loomis Dean

Thanks Burt, for contributing yet another anecdote to the Les Amis blog!