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      Sale 2255 | Lot 37
      Price Realized: $33,600With Buyer's Premium
      Show Hammer Price
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      • Sale 2255 Lot 37

        JOSEPH DELANEY (1904 - 1991)
        Low Key.

        Oil on canvas, circa 1945. 1040x762 mm; 41x30 inches. Signed in oil, lower right recto. Titled on the upper stretcher bar verso.

        Provenance: the estate of the artist; thence by descent to the East Tennessee Foundation, Knoxville; acquired by a private collection, 2001.

        Exhibited: Joseph Delaney Retrospective Exhibition, Ewing Gallery of Art & Architecture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1986, with the labels on the verso.

        This large painting is a remarkable 1940s work by Joseph Delaney--it is the only known work where the artist explored abstraction. Unlike his brother, Beauford, Joseph Delaney never abandoned the figure, even in this surreal and jazz-inspired composition.

        In Delaney's 1986 retrospective catalogue, Ewing Gallery director Sam Yates wrote of Low Key: "As abstraction was the avant-garde art form of the middle '40's in New York, Delaney attempted in this painting to venture into unconventional spatial forms. His love of music and spiritual life is depicted through the use of dancers, drummers, and figures that look upward toward heaven. These figures suggest an historic musical context and are combined with a large abstract form veiling a horn player and a pianist. The disparate scale of the musicians heightens the abstract qualities of the painting and perhaps symbolizes the evolution of boogie-woogie from its African influences to modern instrumentation. This is Delaney's sole example of a painting in the 'abstract style.'"

        This painting is also listed in Frederick C. Moffatt's 2009 monograph, The Life, Art and Times of Joseph Delaney.

        Estimate $20,000 - 30,000

        Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $33,600