Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is partnering with the Wells International Foundation (WIF) to create a video documentary of the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition!

We value your support!

TO MAKE A DONATION, CLICK HERE.
(All or part of your gift through WIF may qualify as a charitable deductible in the U.S.)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Beauford's Paris: Beauford's Hôtel Odessa Plaque Has Company

The other day, I took a long-time friend to see the Beauford Delaney plaques in Montparnasse before setting off to a neighborhood restaurant for lunch. Our first stop was the Hôtel Odessa. I looked up to point out the plaque and was more than surprised to find that a second plaque has been installed on the hotel's façade!

Delaney and Foujita plaques - Hôtel Odessa
Image courtesy of Félix Vega

This plaque commemorates Japanese-French artist Léonard Tsuguhara Foujita, who lived at the Hôtel Odessa in 1913. (Beauford would briefly reside there 40 years later.) Foujita was part of the Ecole de Paris, the flood of artists who settled in Montparnasse in the early 20th century. He counted Picasso, Modigliani, Matisse, and many other famous artists among his friends and was one of the few who became financially successful in his lifetime.

Hôtel Odessa is modestly priced, pleasant hotel that has completely renovated its rooms and recently refurbished its façade. It is particularly well suited for student groups. One has to wonder if the hotel will raise its rates now that it is beginning to tout its contribution to the history of the quarter!

************

We're offering a special private visit to see the two Beauford Delaney commemorative plaques in Montparnasse, followed by a sit-down lunch in the neighborhood, for up to three persons pledging $1000 or more to the Kickstarter campaign for the Beauford Delaney exhibition video project. I'll personally deliver this tour and lunch will be on me!

You have to be living in Paris or visiting within a year to take advantage of this reward.

Click on the link below to learn about the campaign, our pledge levels, and all the rewards that we've made available:

Beauford Delaney: Sharing a Master's Art with the World!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Human Interest: Beauford's Self-portrait Featured at the Whitney Museum

The Human Interest: Portraits from the Whitney’s Collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art features over 200 works that "show changing approaches to portraiture from the early 1900s until today."

Among those works is one of Beauford's most exquisite self-portraits.

Auto-portrait
(1965) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It is on view in the Robert W. Wilson Galleries on the 7th floor, in a section called "Cracked Mirror" that focuses on portraits created by American artists in the years surrounding World War II. It is featured on a wall all its own!

This self-portrait is one of five Beauford Delaney paintings and works on paper in the Whitney's collection. None of the other works are being displayed at present.

Beauford has a rich history with the Whitney, beginning in 1930 when it was named the Whitney Museum Studio Galleries. Read about it HERE.

Human Interest will be shown from Apr 27, 2016 – Feb 12, 2017. However, several works will be rotated off display after July 2016, due to their fragility. No decision has yet been made as to whether Beauford's self-portrait will be one of them.

For more information about the exhibition, click HERE.

************
COMING SOON:
Video of Beauford Delaney art exhibition!


Because of the tremendous success of the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition held at Columbia Global Centers | Paris (February 4-March 15, 2016), Les Amis and the Wells International Foundation (WIF) are creating a video documentary of the show and the associated cultural and educational programs. We plan to use this documentary to encourage U.S. and European museums to host the exhibition.

WE VALUE YOUR SUPPORT!

To contribute to the production of the video, click HERE.

To sign-up to receive the latest behind-the-scenes news about the show, click HERE.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Melancholy, Sorrow, and Joy - Part 2

Last week, I shared comments by two individuals on the range of emotions expressed in Beauford's art:

We might talk about the way a canvas painted by Beauford could imperceptibly take you through all the colors of the prism and express all the possible nuances from deep sorrow to exhilarating joy, from the indelible sadness of the flowery wallpaper of a cheap hotel room to a whirlwind of bright and vivid colors, the large solar festival promised to the blessed of all religions and faiths.

- Marc Albert-Levin, art critic

...I am drawn to Beauford's colors--something seems so melancholy, yet on the verge of joy.

- Cary Alan Johnson, writer and human rights consultant

I then presented images from the recent Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition that I believe many people would interpret as joyous.

Today, I'm presenting images of works from the exhibition that could be interpreted as representing melancholy or sorrow.

Untitled
(1961) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The palette that Beauford chose for the muddy-colored, untitled painting above is quite atypical of his work. Dark greens with numerous touches of grays, browns, and black mostly obscure a yellow background with a few orange-red highlights. For me, this conjures feelings of turbulent melancholy.

Untitled
(1961) Mixed media on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Beauford used bold and vibrant colors for the mixed media work shown above. For me, it evokes a storm, perhaps even a storm at sea. Cobalt to midnight blue bands at the top, middle, and bottom of the painting could represent sadness, and the acid yellow-green zigzags bring to mind frayed nerves superimposed on persistent melancholy.

Beauford created both of these works in 1961. We know that this was a particularly stressful year for him - as early as March, he wrote to his brother, Joseph, to say that
However sad at times we might be we have come through great trials and tribulations but must never lose sight of our sainted parents and God's great gifts...

As for the latter part of the year, he spent much of it in hospitals in Greece and in Paris due to a mental breakdown, including two suicide attempts, as well as severe liver and kidney problems.

Self-portrait
(undated) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

One of the most intriguing works from the exhibition is Beauford's undated self-portrait. More than one person visiting the exhibition commented that his head appears to emerge from a planter, an urn, or a cooking pot. I find his expression to be haunted, but others commented that his eyes appear to be wide with amazement or casting a piercing glance.

And I wonder why Beauford chose green as the predominant color for his skin tone. I thought the color might reflect physical illness or mental unease, but an artist friend of Beauford found it to be beautiful and not at all disturbing.

I welcome your comments on these works and those from Part 1 of this post. What emotions do you see in them? What emotions do they stir in you?

************
COMING SOON:
Video of Beauford Delaney art exhibition!


Because of the tremendous success of the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition held at Columbia Global Centers | Paris (February 4-March 15, 2016), Les Amis and the Wells International Foundation (WIF) are creating a video documentary of the show and the associated cultural and educational programs. We plan to use this documentary to encourage U.S. and European museums to host the exhibition.

WE VALUE YOUR SUPPORT!

To contribute to the production of the video, click HERE.

To sign-up to receive the latest behind-the-scenes news about the show, click HERE.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Melancholy, Sorrow, and Joy - Part 1

As I negotiate the aftermath of the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition, I'm stunned to realize that six weeks have already passed since the closure of the show!

Catalog cover for Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color

Thanks to the exhibition, I've had the opportunity to meet lots of people and to introduce Beauford's work to many who were previously unaware of him and his artistic genius.

And I've had the opportunity to listen to and read thoughts and scholarly critiques of the works displayed in the exhibit.

In today's post, I'm highlighting two remarks that are remarkably similar in sentiment, yet made by individuals who have never met each other. I then illustrate them with images of Beauford's work.

The first comes from Marc Albert-Levin, the French art critic who contributed the article entitled Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color: A Critical Review of Beauford's Portraiture.

In his essay entitled “L’anachronique du flâneur N° 12,” ("Anachronic Chronicle, N° 12"), Albert-Levin describes his interactions with painter Herbert Gentry, who was a friend of Beauford. He says that when he and Gentry got together, they would often speak of Beauford:

We might talk about the way a canvas painted by Beauford could imperceptibly take you through all the colors of the prism and express all the possible nuances from deep sorrow to exhilarating joy, from the indelible sadness of the flowery wallpaper of a cheap hotel room to a whirlwind of bright and vivid colors, the large solar festival promised to the blessed of all religions and faiths.

The second comes from Cary Alan Johnson, writer and human rights consultant:

I had a chance to look at the catalog. I am drawn to Beauford's colors--something seems so melancholy, yet on the verge of joy.

Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color does indeed take you through all colors of the prism. But what any observer experience in terms of emotion as described in the two quotes above depends upon what that observer brings to his or her interaction with each individual work.

I daresay that many would consider the vibrant colors of the works below to represent the emotion of joy.

Untitled
(1970) Mixed media on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Les Embruns
(1963) Mixed media on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Untitled
(1960) Mixed media on paper
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

But finding melancholy and sadness in the paintings from this exhibition could be far more subjective. We'll explore this in next week's post.

************
COMING SOON:
Video of Beauford Delaney art exhibition!


Because of the tremendous success of the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition held at Columbia Global Centers | Paris (February 4-March 15, 2016), Les Amis and the Wells International Foundation (WIF) are creating a video documentary of the show and the associated cultural and educational programs. We plan to use this documentary to encourage U.S. and European museums to host the exhibition.

WE VALUE YOUR SUPPORT!

To contribute to the production of the video, click HERE.

To sign-up to receive the latest behind-the-scenes news about the show, click HERE.