Lot n° 217
10 000 - 15 000 EUR
Result with fees
55 000 EUR
BEAUFORD DELANEY (1901-1979)
Untitled circa 1960.
Oil on canvas.
Signed Beauford DELANEY 68 rue Paul Vaillant Couturier Clamart sur seine. Exhibition stamp n°172 and annotated in pencil on the frame Paul Fachetti Av Friedland.
65 x 46 cm
Donated by the artist to the gallery owners Vincent and Didier Mathieu in the 80's then by descent.
Beauford Delaney was born in 1901 in Knoxville, Tennessee in a family of 10 children of a Methodist pastor father.
His mother encouraged his brother Joseph's artistic vocation but also that of Beauford. Lloyd Branson, a renowned local artist and art school director, discovered his drawings and, convinced of Delaney's potential, helped him to leave for Boston and financed his trip.
The early works of this period are mainly landscapes and portraits.
In Boston, Delaney studied in various institutions and in 1926, his discovery of the retrospective devoted to Claude Monet left a lasting mark on his chromatic and luminous approach to painting.
He arrived in New York a few days after the stock market crash that marked the beginning of the Great Depression. He then focused on portraits of popular African-Americans but also scenes of everyday life in Harlem.
In the early 1930s, immersed in an artistically stimulating environment, he began to explore a modernist aesthetic.
His move to Greenwich village combined with his taste for poetry and music helped him to integrate into the community and form strong friendships. Despite the segregation, he was even honoured by the press in 1938, as Life magazine cited him as an example of an accomplished artist..."Negro".
In the 40s and 50s, in New York, he painted both figurative and abstract works. However, even though it was a period of relative stability and success, he still faced homophobia and racism.
He left for Paris, where he arrived at the end of the summer of 1953 thinking he would stay for a month. He remained there for 26 years until his death. In 1954, he definitively and totally adopts abstraction. But although he took part in group exhibitions and made personal exhibitions, his personal psychic problems made his life more difficult every day.
His works from the late fifties and the sixties, all abstract, are characterized by fluid lines applied with a brush and by a research on the saturation of colour and the power of texture.
The work that we present to you dates from this period. The colour yellow is seen as essential by Delaney because it represents for him "the colour of sacred light" but also "the ultimate power" and testifies to the joy he wishes to instil in his creation, although he struggles with difficulty in trying to escape the darkness that assails him.
At the end of the 1960s, crises became more frequent and deep. He was hospitalized in St. Anne's in 1975 and died there in 1979.
In 1978, the Studio Museum of Harlem devoted the first of a long series of retrospectives to him, exhibiting 67 works by the painter.
Beauford Delaney's paintings are today present in many institutional collections but also in many museums (Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Portrait Gallery...).
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