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.!

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Beauford at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (Newfields)

When Professor Bob Brubaker of Eastern Kentucky University came across this Beauford Delaney abstract at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, he shared this image of it with me:

Untitled (Abstraction I)
(ca. 1960) Oil on prepared fabric
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator


The information card displayed with this work describes it as follows:

Pink, red, green, and blue brushstrokes speckle the surface of this painting, with yellow—Beauford Delaney’s signature color—the most visible and topmost layer. The textured canvas, defined by its thick impasto paint, appears to swim in every direction with resounding dynamism and energy.

I was excited to learn that another Midwestern museum is showing Beauford’s work (the Art Institute of Chicago has a stunning self-portrait on permanent display) and contacted the Indianapolis Museum of Art to request details about this and any other Beauford Delaney works they may have.

To date, I have not received a reply.

Professor Brubaker pointed out that the information card for the abstract indicates that the painting is part of the Thompson Collection. Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson own one of the largest and most prestigious collections of African-American art in the world.

Les Amis has presented information in this blog about two additional Beauford Delaney paintings in the Thompson collection:

Distant Horizons

Distant Horizons
(1952) Oil on canvas
16 x 20 inches
Larry and Brenda Thompson Collection
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

and

Portrait of Imogene Delaney

Portrait of Imogene Delaney
(1963) Oil on canvas
38 ½ x 31 inches
Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia
The Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson
Collection of African American Art
GMOA 2011.584
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Les Amis will publish a follow-up to this post when we obtain sufficient information from the Indianapolis Museum of Art (now rebranded as Newfields, a name that covers the museum, its gardens and the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park and Lilly House.)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Beauford's Seated Portrait Paintings

Beauford portrayed many of the subjects of his portraits seated. The angles at which he directs their gaze and positions their bodies, as well as the way in which he depicts their hands, are interesting to compare.

Here are several examples of his seated portrait paintings.

Portrait of Darthea Speyer
(1965) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Tilley S. Speyer
(1968) Oil on canvas
Carnegie Museum of Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of James Speyer
(1966) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Ahmed Bioud
(1964) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Imogene Delaney
(1963) Oil on canvas
Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia
The Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Collection
of African American Art
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Burt Reinfrank
(1968) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Irene Rose
(1944) Oil on board
45 1/2 in x 35 in
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator
Photo courtesy of ACA Galleries, New York

Dark Rapture (James Baldwin)
(1941) Oil on board
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of a Man in Green (Colin Gravois)
(undated) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

James Baldwin
(1955) Oil on canvas board
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Portrait of Vassili Pikoula
(1970) Oil on canvas
© Estate of Beauford Delaney
by permission of Derek L. Spratley, Esquire,
Court Appointed Administrator

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Wishing You a Lovely Thanksgiving Weekend!

Les Amis is enjoying the Thanksgiving Day weekend and hope you're doing the same!

We'll be back next week with another anecdote about Beauford's life or a write-up about his art.

Until then, enjoy looking at this beautiful work from the Resonance of Form and Vibration of Color exhibition that is replete with fall colors.

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

Have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Beauford and Joseph Delaney to Be Honored in Knoxville

As a direct result of inspiration stemming from the two plaques that honor Beauford in the Montparnasse district of Paris, members of the Gathering Light movement in Knoxville have received approval for the installation of a double-sided marker that honors Beauford and his brother Joseph near the original Delaney home.

The Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection at the East Tennessee History Center in Knoxville is the sponsor for the proposed historical marker.

East Tennessee History Center
© Wells International Foundation

The Beck Cultural Exchange Center and the Knoxville Museum of Art are co-sponsors of the request.

Beck Cultural Exchange Center
© Wells International Foundation

Knoxville Museum of Art
© Wells International Foundation

The proposed location for the marker is the corner of E. Summit Hill Drive SE and Patton St (the preferred location) or directly across the street on the opposite side of E. Summit Hill Drive SE.

The placement is as near as the co-sponsors can get to Beauford's birthplace on E. Vine Street, which was destroyed by urban "renewal" between 1959 and 1974.

Proposed location of Delaney marker
Google map

The proposed text that honors Beauford reads as follows:

BEAUFORD DELANEY
1901 – 1979

Beauford Delaney is considered one of the
greatest abstract painters of the 20th century.
Battling poverty, racial prejudice, and mental
illness, he achieved acclaim for his expressive
portraits, cityscapes, and abstractions.
Beauford was an African American artist, one
of ten children born to Delia and John Samuel
Delaney at 815 East Vine Avenue, Knoxville,
near this site, but he spent most of his life in
New York City and Paris, forming lifelong
friendships with James Baldwin, Henry Miller,
and other luminaries. Beauford Delaney is buried
in Cimetière Parisien de Thiais.

The proposed text for Joseph is as follows:

JOSEPH DELANEY
1904 – 1991

Born near this site, African American artist
Joseph Delaney, like his older brother Beauford,
studied under local artist Lloyd Branson. In 1930
Joseph began his studies in New York at the Art
Students League. Joseph spent the next
56 years painting portraits and scenes of
urban life in lower Manhattan. In 1986, he
returned to Knoxville and served as artist in
residence at University of Tennessee until his
death in 1991. His works are in the collection of
the Smithsonian American Art Museum and other
major museums. Joseph Delaney is buried in
Greenwood Cemetery, Knoxville.

Image of a portrait of Joseph Delaney
by Beauford Delaney
in Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney
by David A. Leeming

The co-sponsors hope that the installation will take place in March / April 2018. They have submitted a follow-up request to have a single marker placed for Beauford and a second marker for Joseph on opposite sides of the street. The text for each marker would face oncoming traffic.