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NY Auction Features Pantheon of Black Fine Artists’ Works

Eldzier Cortor painting, ‘Classical Composition No. 4’

On October 18th, New York’s Swann Auction Gallery will hold a sale that is an incredible opportunity to own work of some of the most celebrated African-American fine artists of all time. That is, if you have the financial wherewithal to purchase. These are not the prints you find at neighborhood art sales — these are the real deal! The Swann sale features an extraordinary selection of museum-quality paintings, sculptures and works on paper by important 19th and 20th century artists. Highlights include:

Robert Duncanson’s Young America (estimate: $50,000 to $75,000); the earliest painting in the sale and a very scarce figurative work from the beginning of the artist’s career. This unusual depiction of a heroic young man raising both a sword and the American flag was possibly a commission by the subject’s parents before the boy was sent off to fight in the Mexican-American War.
A collection of four small but impressive works by Henry O. Tanner, oil studies for Biblical paintings by the artist (estimate range: $20,000 to $90,000). In addition, the collection includes a fine drawing study in a conte crayon and charcoal for The Head of Christ (estimate: $30,000 to $50,000).
For the first time, Swann will offer two Eldzier Cortor paintings from important periods for the artist. Classical Composition No. 4, (estimate $200,000 to $250,000), a large, impressive oil, is the day’s top lot (pictured). Cortor is best known for elegant, elongated depictions of women that show the influences of his study of African sculpture, 19th-century French Painting and his travels to the Sea Islands and the West Indies.
Charles White’s Songs of Life (estimate: $150,000 to $200,000) is a tour de force in pen and ink, and a recently discovered large and important drawing. White used this drawing in his application for his Whitney Fellowship in 1954 and it has not been exhibited since.
The large and evocative Boy with Flute by Hughie Lee Smith; a significant work from the mid-1960s…Read more: Art Daily

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