Top Lots: African American Fine Art

The love was felt at Swann’s February 14 auction of African-American Fine Art where multiple artist records were set! The sale’s top lot was Barkley L. Hendricks’s 1970 life-size portrait of a disc jockey friend in Philadelphia, The Hawk, Blah, Blah Blah, depicted in oil and DayGlo on canvas, which brought $132,000. 
Barkley L. Hendricks, The Hawk, Blah, Blah Blah, oil and DayGlo on canvas, 1970.

Another bold contemporary piece, William T. Williams’s Up Balls, a large abstract acrylic on canvas from 1971, brought $120,000—tying the only previous auction result for a painting by the artist (set here at Swann in February 2012).
William T. Williams, Up Balls, acrylic on canvas, 1971.
An inspiring group of prints by the late great Elizabeth Catlett also set new auction records–two linoleum cuts, I Am the Black Woman, 1946-47, which sold for $90,000, and Sharecropper, circa 1952, for $43,200. Swann devoted a section of the sale to Catlett, which also included her green marble statue, Sister, 1971, which brought $114,000.

Elizabeth Catlett, Sharecropper, color linoleum cut, circa 1952.