From Abstract Expressionists to Color Field Painters—African-American Fine Art: Fall 2019
At Auction October 8
A choice selection of abstract paintings feature in our October 2019 sale of African-American Fine Art, including first-generation abstract expressionist Norman Lewis, alongside artists Sam Gilliam and Kenneth Victor Young of the Washington Color School. Also of note are nature-inspired works by Freddie Styles and Hale Woodruff, as well as a contemporary painting by Ed Clark.
Freddie Styles often references nature in his paintings and collages, as seen in his 1990 oil painting Azalea Roots (Working Roots Series #3), pictured below. Heavily influenced by gardening—another passion of the artist—his forms, reminiscent of organic vegetation, are achieved by innovative techniques that imitate nature’s forms, textures, patterns and colors.
Kenneth Victor Young
A monumental 1972 acrylic on canvas in fiery colors of magenta, purple, orange and yellow is a wonderful example of the abstract painting of Kenneth Victor Young. Young is a Washington, DC color-field painter who was associated with the rise of the Washington Color School in the early 1970s. His paintings have also been included in exhibitions at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery and the Washington Project for the Arts, and are in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Johnson Publishing Company, Chicago.
Two oil paintings by Hale Woodruff include: Landscape No. 2, circa 1966, an early example from his landscape series that has not been seen publicly in 50 years, as well as a circa-1965 abstract composition. Woodruff’s abstract paintings often incorporate organic forms from nature with an earthy palette in the late 1960s, describing landscape and natural phenomena within the idiom of Abstract Expressionism.