Les Amis de Beauford Delaney is partnering with the Wells International Foundation (WIF) to take the Beauford Delaney: Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition to the U.S.!

We value your support!

(All or part of your gift through WIF may qualify as a charitable deductible in the U.S.)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beauford's Portrait of Larry Calcagno to Be Auctioned

Tyler Fine Art x Ripley Auctions is presenting "African-American Artists - A Fine Art Auction" at 11:00 AM on March 18, 2017 (today). Beauford's Portrait of a Young Man (Larry Calcagno) is among the works for sale.

Portrait of a Young Man (Larry Calcagno)
(1953) Oil on canvas
31.75" x 25.5" (80.6 cm x 64.8 cm)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Two extensive articles on Beauford and Calcagno's relationship can be found on this blog:

A Boundless Love: Beauford Delaney's Letters to Larry Calcagno (2016)


Beauford and Larry Calcagno (2011)

Calcagno painted a portrait of his friend in 1975:

Larry Calcagno's Portrait of Beauford (2011)

The Calcagno portrait was part of the Beauford Delaney: From New York to Paris exhibition, which was shown at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Knoxville Museum of Art, the Greenville County Museum of Art, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2004-2006.

The portrait has been assigned Lot Number 24. Its estimated value is $15,000-20,000.

A Beauford Delaney lithograph (Lot 25) entitled Lithography Afrique is also up for auction in this show (estimated value is $1500-$2500).

Ripley Auctions
2764 East 55th Place
Indianapolis, IN 46220

For additional information, call 317-251-5635.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A. C. Hudgins' Beauford Delaney Abstract

A.C. Hudgins has a passion for collecting the work of contemporary African-American artists. He owns only a few works by "dead artists." The Beauford Delaney abstract shown below is one of them.

(not dated) Oil on canvas
Signed on rear of painting
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Signature at the rear of Untitled
Oil on canvas
Signed on rear of painting
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Given that Beauford indicated his Vercingétorix address beneath his signature at the rear of the painting, it must date from at least 1962.

Hudgins acquired this work from a dealer on the upper east side of NYC - a woman who handles Paul Jenkins' estate. She was once on the board of the Studio Museum of Harlem.

Hudgins saw the painting and liked it. He had a MoMA conservator evaluate it and was told that the work was in pristine condition. Based on that assessment, he purchased it.

Hudgins marvels at how this painting "reads differently" in various areas of his home, depending on the lighting that is present in the room.

It is likely that Beauford gave this work to Paul Jenkins. The two men met in New York a short time before Beauford left his Greene Street studio in 1952, and they remained friends after Beauford moved to Paris. Their work was shown in a group exhibition at the Galerie Arnaud in Paris in March 1965.

Jenkins wrote about Beauford in an article entitled "A Quiet Legend." Published in Art International, Volume 6, No. 10, December 20, 1962, it begins as follows:

Beauford Delaney's role in the painting of today has been that of a quiet legend. He lived for many years in New York, on Greene Street in Greenwich Village, where his loft drew people like a magnet...

Beauford's biographer, David A. Leeming, quotes Jenkins as writing the following about Beauford's early Paris works:

The way he painted, moved into a certain radiant generalization. In the paint he let go of a specific personal identity and moved closer and closer toward the constant, the original light coming from the canvas. ... These paintings could be churches of no denomination.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Maggie Umber's Artistic Tribute to Beauford

Several days ago, I received a "Google Alert" about Beauford. One of the links provided led me to the image below.

Portrait of Beauford Delaney
Maggie Umber
(2017) Watercolor on rough paper

Intrigued, I contacted the artist. Her name is Maggie Umber and she graciously granted me an interview for the blog.

Umber is a professional artist. Her interest in art began at a young age - from 3rd to 6th grade, she took after-school and Saturday art classes. She tutored kids in drawing throughout middle school and began selling paintings in high school. A graduate of Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, MN, she went on to earn a B.A. in Studio Arts with a focus on intaglio printmaking from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. She is now a cartoonist, freelance artist, and associate publisher at the comic book company, 2dcloud.

Umber learned about Beauford because her mother is a fan of his work. She took Umber to see Beauford Delaney: From New York to Paris at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2004.

As a result, Umber says she often goes to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see displays of Beauford’s work. She talked about the untitled abstract oil raincoat painting that is framed in a case away from the wall that is on permanent display. She also reported that Jazz Quartet is on display again.

She said that Beauford's Untitled (Washington Square Park) "comes and goes," along with his mixed media Self-Portrait, Yaddo. She also mentioned that the Georgia O’Keefe portrait of Beauford that is on a long-term loan to the museum wasn't being displayed at the time of our interview.

I asked Umber what she likes about Beauford's work. She responded:

I like the thickness and heavy texture of his paint application and his vivid color palette! His paintings are bold and expressive and his compositions are dynamic. His paintings pop off the walls with their powerful energy!

Umber says she was inspired by Beauford's painting style when she did his portrait. But she says the painting still looks like her style, not as much like Beauford's style as she would like.

She believes that painting from another artist’s work is a good way to learn because "they make choices that you would never think of and it makes you realize your habits."

Umber selected the colors and for the portrait after doing a Google search and finding images of Beauford’s self-portrait from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago "It is such a great painting and the colors!!!" she says.

Oil on canvas (1944)
Art Institute of Chicago
© Estate of Beauford Delaney, by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire, Court Appointed Administrator

She modeled the attire from the photo that was possibly taken of Beauford at his easel by Gjon Mili.

Portrait of Beauford Delaney
(ca. 1950)
Possibly by Gjon Mili

Umber's love of portraiture stems from her high school and college years. Her passion for subjects of African descent began when she was commissioned to do a portrait of Bob Marley.

Fifteen years later, as the associate publisher of 2dcloud and a freelance artist, this passion persists - she did three brush pen portraits of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Moms Mabley and Billie Holiday during Black History Month 2016. She decided that she wants to do a series of these paintings every February:

This year I decided to do watercolor portraits. My mom said, “You better paint Beauford Delaney!” But I had already put him on my list. I had done a portrait of James Baldwin inspired by the colors from Beauford’s portrait of him from the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Portrait of James Baldwin
(1945) Oil on canvas
Philadelphia Museum of Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney, by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire, Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of James Baldwin
Maggie Umber
(2017) Watercolor on rough paper

I love Beauford's painting and I wanted to learn more about him. I would like to do a lot of portraits of visual artists for my Black History Month series. I wish that there had been more of a focus on African American artists in the books, classes and museums when I was growing up and learning to be a painter.

I painted Beauford's portrait on Thursday night, February 16, 2017. For most of the portraits in the watercolor series I penciled in the portrait first. But for this painting I just went straight to paint.

See more of Umber's 2017 Black History Month watercolors HERE.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

More Beauford Delaney Works at Auction

Beauford's work is growing ever more popular with auction houses in the U.S. and France.

Last week, his Untitled (Green) was sold by Quinn's Auction Galleries during their "African American Artists: Featuring the Inventory and Collection of Merton D. Simpson" sale.

Untitled or Green
(1963) Watercolor on paper
26" x 19 1/2" (66 cm x 49.5 cm)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

The work (Lot #3) fetched $8,400, including a 20% buyer's premium. The estimated bid range was $2000-$4000.

Earlier this month, the purchase price for a stunning still life from Beauford's New York years far exceeded its estimated bid of $6000 to $8000.

Still Life with Eggplant & Fruit
Pastel on paper
signed and dated ’49 lower left
Framed, sight: 19 in. x 25 in. (48.3 cm x 63.5 cm)
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Still Life with Eggplant and Fruit (Lot #1123) was auctioned by Sloans & Kenyon in Chevy Chase, MD on February 12th. It sold for $25,095, including a 19.5% buyer's premium.

On February 22nd, an unusual watercolor (Lot 324) was auctioned by Expertisez.com in Paris, France.

Aquarelle signed et dated 1961, lower right
51 x 65 cm (20.1" x 25.6")
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

It sold for 3,200€. The estimated price was 3000€ to 4000€.