Beauford Delaney's (born Knoxville 1901-died Paris 1979) depictions of the streets, parks, and jazz clubs of Harlem and Greenwich Village, dating from 1929 to 1953, convey the energy of the city, while his layered, captivating abstract compositions from his Paris years (1953-1979) demonstrate his sustained exploration of colour.
It is broadly recognized, however, that Delaney’s Paris works are among the most significant to his body of work. A number of this Paris-period works to be shown were rescued from Delaney’s apartment shortly before his death. About to be seized by the French Government and auctioned to satisfy delinquent accounts, the paintings were shipped to New York through the efforts of a coterie of the artist’s devoted friends including James Baldwin, Henry Miller, Richard Powell and Richard Long. These paintings would form the core of the 1978 retrospective.
After thirty-five years of uncertain fate, and the enormous efforts over the past seven years by the estate’s court-appointed Administrator, Derek Spratley, many of these estate paintings have been recovered and are being presented for the first time. A fully illustrated color catalog with an essay by New York-based independent curator and art critic, Lily Wei is available from Levis Fine Art.
Levis Fine Art Website