“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper from a passing shape, ” P. Picasso
By Nicosia Smith
A seemingly simple art form, yet exquisite in its detail, form and simplicity.
It’s always an amazement how equally griping black and white images are. That is, when we take a break from color paintings.
So I considered it a good contrast when Swann Auction Galleries,
104 East 25th St, this month featured the black and white images
along side full color paintings.
In Swann’s, Shadows Uplifted: The Rise of African-American Fine Art, noted black and whites included:
- Charles White (1918-1979) Pensive Lass, Charcoal on illustration board, 1936
- Allan Rohan Crite (1910-2007) The Last Super
- Aaron Douglas (1888-1979) Snow Storm, Charcoal on woven paper, circa 1950-1955
- Morgan Sparks Smith (1910-1993) Portrait, Charcoal on thin laid paper, 1934
In Douglas’s, Snow Storm, the light and soft strokes beautifully depicted a snow storm, as the wind churned the snow toward the nearby trees and homes.
And even from the lone visible figure in the image, one can see the distress, as they battle the strong winds.
As I confront the current brutal winter in NYC, I have a greater appreciation for this piece.
There is just something about a natural clear image, laid bare with raw emotions. Truly a pleasure.
The self portraits are a beautiful example of this. So one and all, bring on the black and white selfies, as well.
Now, the exhibit had other noted big hitters in African-American contemporary art. Whose works include bronze sculptures, oil on masonite board and watercolors like :
- Claude Clerk (1915-2001)
- William H. Johnson (1901-1970)
- Augusta Savage (1892-1962)
- William A. Harper (1873-1910)
- Hale Woodruff (1900-1980)
- William Edouard Scott (1884-1964)
- Hughie Lee-Smith (1915-1999)
- William E. Artis (1914-1977)
It’s sometimes good to enjoy the simple and uncomplicated, just a thought.