Swann Galleries will offer exceptional works of African-American Fine Art at auction on October 7. The sale contains 140 lots by many sought-after African-American artists, including many museum-quality works ranging from rare early 20th-century paintings and sculptures through desirable contemporary pieces.
Highlights among the sculptures are Sargent Johnson’s Mask, copper repoussé with gilding, 1933, that combines African motifs with a modernist design. It is the first example of his work in repoussé to come to auction (estimate: $30,000 to $50,000). William Edmondson’s Squirrel, circa 1940 ($40,000 to $60,000), a striking work by the well-known self-taught sculptor, is an excellent example of the remarkable animals and figures he carved out of stone. In 1937, Edmondson, the son of former slaves, was the first African-American artist to be given a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Among fine mid-century paintings are Robert Savon Pious’s Joe Louis vs. Clarence “Red” Burman, oil on illustration board, circa 1941 ($40,000 to $60,000), the first painting by the artist to come to auction. The often overlooked figurative artist, whose portraiture and sporting scenes were well known in the 1930s and ’40s, depicts the dramatic finish of this storied fight—Joe Louis putting Clarence “Red” Burman on the ropes just before the referee intervenes.
Other noteworthy mid-century paintings include Beauford Delaney’s Untitled (Yellow, Green and White Abstraction), oil on canvas, circa 1959 ($120,000 to $180,000); Bob Thompson’s Last Painting, oil and ink on canvas, 1966 ($40,000 to $60,000), which was identified and titled as such by the artist’s wife; and Al Loving’s 9 Septehedrons, assemblage of nine joined shaped canvases, acrylic on canvas, 1969 ($30,000 to $50,000), which is the first of his assembled geometric compositions to appear at auction. Paintings by Norman Lewis and Hale Woodruff are also featured.
Highlights among contemporary paintings include Robert Colescott’s A Legend Dimly Told, acrylic on canvas, 1982 ($50,000 to $75,000), which was exhibited in the 1983 Whitney Biennial; and an Untitled enamel on masonite painting by David Hammons, circa 1969 ($80,000 to $120,000), an early experimental painting by this highly regarded contemporary artist.
Of special note among the works on paper are William H. Johnson’s Training for War, color pochoir and screenprint, circa 1942 ($75,000 to $100,000), a very scarce, signed example of this important modern color screenprint; and Allan Rohan Crite’s The Childhood and Passion of our Blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 1937-39, an impressive volume of 73 linoleum cuts on Japan paper that was the artist’s personal copy ($30,000 to $50,000). Works on paper by Romare Bearden, Charles White, Jacob Lawrence, Alma Thomas and Elizabeth Catlett are also featured.
Finally, the auction includes fine photographs by Arthur P. Bedou, Chester Higgins, Jr. and Dawoud Bey.
The auction will take place on Thursday, October 7 at 2:30 p.m.
The works of art will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries on Saturday, October 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, October 4 through Wednesday, October 6, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday, October 7, 10 a.m. to noon.
A full-color illustrated catalogue, with information on bidding by mail or fax, is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25 Street, New York, NY 10010, and can also be viewed online at http://www.swanngalleries.com. Bids can also be submitted by e-mail via the website.
For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Nigel Freeman at (212) 254-4710, extension 33, or via email at email@example.com.
Live online bidding is also available via Artfact.com.
All images are Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries, Robert Colescott, A Legend Dimly Told, acrylic on canvas, 1982. Estimate: $50,000 to $75,000.