V

Narratives of African American Art and Identity

Beauford Delaney

Untitled, c. 1965

Oil on canvas

25.5" x 21.25"


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Untitled

Beauford Delaney's untitled 1965 abstraction demonstrates the bold use of color and expressive brush work that is the hallmark of his oeuvre. As a young artist Delaney lived in New York's Harlem and Greenwich Village. He supported himself by painting portraits of a spectrum of New York notables and established close relationships with Village artists and literati. Delaney's relationship with abstraction predated the notorious Abstract Expressionist movement, positioning him as a forerunner of one of the most important ideological and stylistic developments in twentieth-century American art. Although he chose not to identify himself with the movement, as the Abstract Expressionists began to gain notoriety in the late 1940s, Delaney's abstract work increasingly gained attention. Beauford Delaney expatriated to Paris in 1953, where he came to be considered the most important black American artist of his day and where he remained until his death in 1979. Delaney developed his commitment to abstraction during his years in Paris and continued to produce expressionist portraits of friends and patrons.  A. L. C.

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