A Look Inside the Catalogue
Lot 3: Edward M. Bannister, Untitled (Cow Herd in Pastoral Landscape), oil on canvas, 1877. Sold for an auction record of $75,000.
Autumn offerings from our African-American Fine Art department included a monumental canvas by Edward M. Bannister, Untitled (Cow Herd in Pastoral Landscape), 1877. This significant mid-career painting of a pastoral scene is rendered in rich, harmonious tonalities capturing the light at dawn. Another rare find is James VanDerZee's Eighteen Photographs, a handsome portfolio of silver prints including his celebrated images of the Harlem Renaissance and family portraits.
Lot 11: James VanDerZee, portfolio of 18 mounted silver print photographs, 1905-38. Sold for an auction record of $87,500.
Lot 32: Robert Neal, Untitled (Kitchen Still Life, Dayton, Ohio), oil on masonite, circa 1940-45. Sold for $10,625.
A charming painting by Robert Neal, Untitled, (Kitchen Still Life, Dayton, Ohio), oil on masonite, is only the second artwork by the artist to come to auction. Neal, a student of Hale Woodruff, had work included in the 1939 Baltimore Museum of Art's Contemporary Negro Art, the first group exhibition of African-American artists at a museum. Little is known about the later life or career of the artist.
Lot 46: Norman Lewis, Birds in Flight, oil and metallic paint on canvas, 1953. Sold for $149,000.
The sale includes a strong selection of postwar abstract paintings, led by Norman Lewis's striking Birds in Flight, 1953. This newly discovered, large-scale canvas shows another side of the artist's pioneering work in abstraction and the inspiration he found in nature. Also featured is a large, oil on canvas by Felrath Hines, circa 1960.
Lot 57: Felrath Hines, Untitled (Abstraction), oil on canvas, circa 1960. Sold for $27,500.
Later abstraction is articulated in this sale by a group of exquisite paintings from the 1970s. Significant among these is Sam Gilliam’s What Did You In London Town?, acrylic on canvas, circa 1973. The six-foot beveled-edge painting reveals Gilliam's exploration of beautiful, textured paint surfaces. Other highlights include a brilliant blue oil on canvas by Norman Lewis titled Block Island, 1975; a work by Frank Bowling and a trio of large hexagonal canvases by Alvin D. Loving, Jr.
Lot 82: Sam Gilliam, What Did You in London Town?, acrylic on canvas, circa 1973. Sold for $173,000.
Lot 79: Alvin D. Loving, Jr., Three Solid Questions, triptych of acrylic canvases, 1969. Sold for $100,000.
Lot 84: Frank Bowling, Shut Up, acrylic on canvas, 1973. Sold for $70,000.
Wadsworth Jarrell's canvas of acrylic, metal foil and ribbon titled Untitled (African Rhythm, Our Heritage), 1973, rounded out the selection of 1970s abstraction. The painting sold for an auction record of $97,500.
Right, Lot 87: Wadsworth Jarrell, Untitled (African Rhythm, Our Heritage), acrylic, metal foil and ribbon, 1973. Sold for an auction record of $97,500.
Lot 171: James Little, The Primary Suspect, oil, 2000. Sold for an auction record of $25,000.
For more information on the sale contact a specialist in the African-American Fine Art Department.
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