Swann Galleries’ Thursday, October 8, 2022, African American Art Sale features a selection of the best in the genre as the house celebrates its 15th year with dedicated auctions for works by African American and Black artists.
The fall 2022 auction will provide an overview of American art history with art by black artists ranging from Henry Ossawa Tanner at the turn of the 19th century to the current era with Chakaia Booker.
Topping the auction is a bright and energetic 1967 abstract work by Norman Lewis in Orange ($400,000-$600,000).
The oil on canvas dates from the late 1960s, when Lewis created a series of paintings depicting abstracted jazz musicians – an important moment between his black-and-white civil rights and Klan paintings of the early-mid 1960s and the 1960s changing tide series in the 1970s.
Other works by Lewis include an early oil on canvas from 1947 ($120,000-180,000) and Carpentera 1954 watercolor and ink drawing ($30,000-40,000).
Other important works of abstraction from the 1960s to 1990s include Hale Woodruff landscape, oil on canvas, 1967 ($150,000-250,000); Romare Beardens grape star, oil on canvas, 1959 ($150,000-250,000); Sam Gilliams Horses turned upside down, acrylic and polypropylene on canvas, 1998 ($120.00-180.000); Charles Alstons Black and White #3 (Astral #3), oil on canvas, 1961 ($100,000-150,000); and Cliff Josephs Rise up, folks, rise upOil on canvas, 1970 ($35,000-50,000).
Complementing the recent market notoriety at Swann includes a selection of embossed leather paintings by Winfred Rembert The book that could not be read2013 ($10,000-15,000), Winfred Rembert and class of 19591999 ($25,000-35,000), and Jeff’s Cafe & Room and Zeb’s Shoe Shine, 1998 ($25,000-35,000). Rembert’s 2021 Biography Narrated by Erin I. Kelly, Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist’s Memoir of the Jim Crow South, recently won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.
Bisa Butler is one of the fabric artists on offer Sea Island Woman, an intricate quilt from 2007 relating to the Gullah in South Carolina ($40,000-60,000); Xenobia Bailey with Think, a 2008 hand-crochet study for her work at MTA Hudson Yards ($12,000–18,000); and Michael Cummings with freedoma 2013 quilt and applique depicting a civil rights activist singing for freedom, with lyrics and quotes surrounding it ($12,000-$18,000).
Among the highlights of the modern age Westchester Proma 1951 brush-and-ink drawing by Jacob Lawrence ($50,000-75,000); domestic worker, a rare print by Elizabeth Catlett created in the Taller de Gráfica Popular after she moved to Mexico in 1946 and the first she printed there ($20,000-30,000); and folk singera 1957 print by Charles White reinterpreting his iconic ink drawing of the same year, Volkssänger (Voices of Jericho: Portrait of Harry Belafonte) ($20,000-30,000).
Sculptures from this period include a marble carving by Marion Perkins ($30,000-40,000) and an important welded steel sculpture by Harold Cousins ($30,000-40,000).
Also included in the auction is a selection of photographs featuring images by James Van Der Zee, Anthony Barboza, LaToya Ruby Frazier and Carrie Mae Weems; figurative works by Joseph Delaney and Hughie Lee-Smith; assemblage artists Noah Purifoy and Betye Saar; and contemporary works by Chakaia Booker, Hank Willis Thomas, Glenn Ligon, and Kara Walker, among others.
Auction date: Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 12 p.m
The opening hours of the exhibition are Saturday, October 1 and Monday, October 3 to Wednesday, October 5, 2022, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Live online bidding platforms are the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable and Live Auctioneers.
The full catalog and listing information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and the Swann Galleries App. The complete lot list.
Swann Auction Galleries
Swann Auction Galleries is a third generation family business and the world’s largest auction house for works on paper.
Over the past 80 years, Swann has repeatedly revolutionized commerce with innovations such as the first US auction of photographs and the world’s only African American art department.
More than 40 auctions and previews are held annually at Swann Galleries’ two-story showrooms in Midtown Manhattan and online worldwide.
Visit swangalleries.com for more information. @schwangallerien
Photo credits: 1) Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled (Woman and Daughter with Makeup), silver print, 1990. 2) Woodruff. 3) Bailey. 4) Joseph. 5) Lewis. 6) alston 7) bears. 8) Karl Weiss. 9) Laurentius. 10) Elizabeth Catlett.
“Dr. Harry Delany is a renowned Harlem born and raised surgeon, the son of the great lawyer and civil rights activist Hubert Delany…” This monthly feature is published partnership With Harlem Cultural Archives.