Catlett, Tanner, Woodruff And More At African-American Fine Art Auction At Swann Galleries

September 4, 2019

The folks at Swann Galleries spent the summer pulling together some of their best catalogings and preparing material to fill the upcoming superb auction.

We think the best of this crop offered is the African-American Fine Art collection (see images posted in this article). Other parts of the auction include Fine Books & Manuscripts, which is their first curated sale of autographsart books, and literature, and features selections from The Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry.

In case you missed it, they launched the Swann Galleries App last year with a new and convenient live bidding option.

Elizabeth Catlett’s sumptuous Seated Woman, carved mahogany, 1962, is the earliest of her wood sculptures to come to auction. Sargent Johnson’s Head of a Negro Boy, painted terra cotta, circa 1934, is an outstanding example of his modernist sculpture from the 1930s. Johnson made a small number of stylized heads of children in this medium, with few surviving works are known today.

A striking 1966 oil painting by Hale Woodruff is an excellent example of the artist’s landscapes within the idiom of Abstract Expressionism. Not seen publicly in 50 years, this significant canvas shows Woodruff ’s continued evolution as an abstract painter through the 1960s.

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Another piece is Kenneth Victor Young’s monumental 1972 acrylic on canvas, at almost ten feet wide, will be his largest work at auction to date. Abstractions by McArthur Binion and Sam Gilliam are featured among contemporary paintings, alongside works by figurative artists Emma Amos, Carrie Mae Weems, Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall and Sedrick Huckaby.

The exhibition is free to attend and open to the public.

They welcome special and educational groups with advance notice–send an inquiry to

Photo credit: 1) Sargent Johnson, Head of a Negro Boy. 2) Allan Rohan Crite, Play at Dark (Westminster Street, Madison Park). 3) Robert Colescott, The Artist and the Model

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