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Posts Tagged ‘African American art’

New etchings by John Walker

October 24th, 2017

We are pleased to present a new prints project by the distinguished Contemporary painter, John Walker (born 1939, Birmingham, England) .  They are titled Fenway I, II, III, IV and the group was produced while Walker was a visiting artist at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Born in Birmingham, England, John Walker was awarded the Harkness and Guggenheim Fellowships. He was awarded artist-in-residence at Oxford University and Monash University, Australia. In 1972 he represented England at the Venice Biennale. He has taught at the Royal College of London, Yale University, and Boston University, and his work is included in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum, MOMA, MFA Boston, Cleveland Museum, Tate Gallery, British Museum

Fenway II is a sugar lift aquatint with hand coloring.   The rough-hewn patterns and soft-edged colors are draw upon memory and observation of the New England landscape and seascape.  These robust works are the latest in Walker’s long and distinguished career.

John Walker, Fenway II 2017 sugarlift etching with hand coloring, image/sheet  30 x 22"

John Walker, Fenway II 2017

 

 

An important painting on paper by Norman Lewis

February 28th, 2017

Born in Harlem and working within New York City’s downtown art scene, Norman Wilfred Lewis (1909-1979) first began painting in a figural style grounded in social realism, focusing on bread lines, police brutality, and the struggles of black Americans. Lewis transitioned to a more abstract style of art during the 1940s and 1950s, continuing to focus on social inequalities but growing increasingly interested in personal expression rather than representation. Lewis’s shift to abstraction was driven in part by his realization that reproducing or mirroring social conditions did not adequately reflect his goals as an artist. At the same time the subjects of race and civil rights reclaimed Lewis’s work in a profound way in the 1960s.  Works like Untitled 1961 address political activism and humanitarian concerns through hazy visuals inspired by clandestine Ku Klux Klan gatherings and political marches and Labor Day parades.

The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art organized Procession, a major retrospective of Lewis’s works in 2016, which traveled to the Amon Carter Museum and the Chicago Cultural Center.  Curator and author Ruth Fine received a 2017 award of distinction from the College Art Association for the Norman Lewis exhibition catalogue.

UNTITLED 1961, oil on paper, signed and dated in recto

UNTITLED 1961, oil on paper, 19 x 26″

New etchings by Stan Whitney

January 7th, 2017

We are pleased to offer an important new group of eight etchings by Stanley Whitney (born 1946, Philadelphia, PA).  Whitney is a 2016 USA Jeanne & Michael Klein Fellow.  His 2015 exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem brought a new level of critical and market notice.  This brand new series of large etchings show Whitney continuing his exploration of abstract motifs—the layering and stacking of grid and gesture, line and shape.  Whitney was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1996.

Stan Whitney 8 Untitled etchings 2016, edition 18

From top left, numbers 1-8
edition 18, each image 19 1/2 x 24 3/8″ each sheet 29 1/8 x 32 1/2″

 

Elizabeth Catlett (American, 1915-2012)

April 27th, 2015

We are proud to share here an important bronze, El Canto, 1968.  Catlett has taken cues from traditional West African sculpture while creating an iconic, Modern work.  Her works impress with the strength of her formal approach yet Catlett was more interested in the social power they convey: “I have always wanted my art to service my people — to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential.”

The singer, or singing head is a theme Catlett returned to over the course of her long career.  Elizabeth Catlett ranks among America’s most respected sculptors.  A related work in marble is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Elizabeth Catlett, El Canto 1968, bronze

El Canto 1968, bronze

 

John Wilson, 1922-2015

January 27th, 2015

Sculptor, painter and print maker John Wilson passed away on January 26.  Wilson made his life in Boston, graduating from graduating the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston with highest honors  in 1945 and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Tufts University in 1947.  With a traveling on fellowship from the School of the MFA, Boston, Wilson studied with Ferdinand Leger in Paris.  In 1950, a John Hay Whitney Fellowship took him to Mexico where he pursued his interest in  mural making.  His 1986 bronze bust of Martin Luther King stands in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC.  The Boston Globe quotes his wife, Julie: “Essentially, he felt that his main objective as an artist was to deliver a message to people about black dignity, about racial justice, about poor people trying to get a better deal in life.”

We are honored to share 2 important lithographs, Dialogue, 1955 and Urbanites, 1964 by the excellent John Wilson

John Wilson Dialogue 1955, lithograph

Dialogue 1955, lithograph

John WIlson Urbanites 1964, lithograph

Urbanites 1964, lithograph

 

Norman Lewis in the 1950s

September 11th, 2014

We are pleased offer 2 important works on paper made in the late 1950s by Norman Lewis, (American, 1909-1979).   He studied at Columbia University and found work during the Great Depression with the WPA at Harlem Art Center.

Norman_Lewis-Abstration  c. 1957. watercolor & ink on paper

Norman_Lewis-Abstration c. 1957. watercolor & ink on paper

Norman Lewis Figures 1957 ink & oil on paper

Norman Lewis Figures 1957 ink & oil on paper

Lewis exhibited at the seminal Willard Gallery in New York City from 1946- 1964.  He was part the Studio 35 sessions–closed door meetings led by MOMA’s Alfred J Barr Jr, which helped define the Abstract Expressionist movement.  He exhibited with the Abstract American Artists group and was included in MOMA’s 1951 exhibition, “Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America”.

 

Philadelphia’s WPA print workshop: Raymond Steth

September 4th, 2013

Raymond Steth, born 1917, Norfolk, Virginia; died 1997, Philadelphia, began working in the graphics division of the WPA/FAP in Philadelphia in 1938. Here he worked with Dox Thrash, inventor of the Carborundum mezzotint. In addition to Thrash’s new technique, Steth produced a fine group of lithographs with Social Realist themes that document his intimate knowledge of city life as well as the rural South. Wrapping Tobacco is a rare example of Steth exploring Depression-era life in Virginia’s Tobacco fields. Steth infuses his prints with a profound emotional that places them amongst the very best works produced for the WPA.
Steth later studied at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, the Philadelphia College of Art, where he later taught. He co-founded and directed the Philographic School of Art from 1948-1953. His remarkable prints are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library of Congress, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution.

Wrapping Tobacco, lithograph, c. 1940

Wrapping Tobacco, lithograph, c. 1940