African-American Fine Art: April 2020 Highlights


Auction Date TBA

Complete Catalogue


Earliest Work by David Hammons to Come to Auction

From the postwar period, a top lot bound to garner attention is an untitled mixed-paper collage on masonite board by David Hammons, 1965. The work, a simple but powerful image of two raised, clenched fists with shackles blending into the background, comes from the collection of the artist’s 1964 Los Angeles City College roommate, and will be the earliest work of art by Hammons to come to auction.

Lot 69: David Hammons, Untitled, paper collage and tempera on masonite board, 1965. $120,000 to $180,000.

Post-War Paintings & Drawings: Norman Lewis, Vincent D. Smith, & Walter Williams

The sale will also include fine postwar paintings by Edward Loper, Haywood “Bill” Rivers, Walter Williams, Norman Lewis, and Vincent D. Smith (read our artist profiles on Vincent D. Smith and Norman Lewis).

Lot 37: Norman Lewis, Untitled (Processional Composition), oil and ink on paper, 1952. $40,000 to $60,000.
Lot 41: Lot Walter Williams, Untitled (Boy in a Field), oil and sand on masonite board, circa 1956-59. $35,000 to $50,000.

Jacob Lawrence’s Cutting Logs #51

A top lot in the sale is Jacob Lawrence’s scarce Cutting Logs #51, gouache, tempera and watercolor on paper, 1942. Lawrence intended to paint a series depicting the rural life of African Americans over a six-month period in Virginia. He and his wife, artist Gwendolyn Knight, had a change of heart, returning early. Lawrence never completed the series, though works from it made it to institutional collections—from this same series is Firewood #55, in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Lot 21: Jacob Lawrence, Cutting Logs #51, gouache, watercolor and ink, 1942. $250,000 to $350,000.

1960s-70s Paintings: Ernie Barnes, John Biggers, & Romare Bearden

Lot 50: John Biggers, Women, Ghana, oil on masonite board, circa 1960. $120,000 to $180,000.
Lot 74: Ernie Barnes, In the Beginning, acrylic, with artist-built frame, circa 1970. $30,000 to $40,000.
Lot 93: Romare Bearden, Aphrodite, collage and acrylic with pencil and ink on board, 1973. $40,000 to $60,000.

Sculpture: Richmond Barthé & Elizabeth Catlett

A modernist portrait of a young boy, by Sargent Johnson, is a painted terracotta version of the artist’s Sammy, a porcelain head that was illustrated on the cover of the 1928 Harmon Foundation exhibition brochure. Other highlights include an elegant 25-inch carved sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett, 1975, directly acquired from the artist by its owner. 

Lot 9: Richmond Barthé, Boy with a Broom, painted plaster, 1929. $60,000 to $90,000.
Lot 10: Richmond Barthé, Feral Benga, cast bronze with dark borwn patina, modeled in 1935, cast in 1986. $40,000 to $60,000.
Lot 99: Elizabeth Catlett, Untitled (Standing Woman), carved mahogany, mounted on a wooden base, 1975. $100,000 to $150,000.

Contemporary Art: Sam Gilliam & Simone Leigh

Lot 176: Simone Leigh, Untitled, salt fired stoneware, 2001. $60,000 to $90,000.
Lot 158: Sam Gilliam, Horses Upside Down, acrylic and polypropylene on collaged canvas, 1998. $80,000 to $120,000.

Exhibition Dates TBA

Actions We’re Taking Regarding COVID-19


Specialist for the Auction

Nigel Freeman, African-American Fine Art Specialist

(212) 254-4710 ext. 33


Sign up for Auction Updates to get email notifications about new catalogues, or download our Live Bidding App and enable push alerts.

How to Bid at Auction

How to Consign at Auction

Auction Schedule