ROY DECARAVA (1919-2009) Dancers. Silver print, the image measuring 12 7/8x8 3/4 inches (32.7x22.2 cm.), the sheet slightly larger, with DeCarava's signature, print date, and copyright, in pencil, on recto. 1956; printed 1981
Estimate $15,000 - 25,000
Acquired directly from the Photographer; to a Private Collector, in the 1990s.
Roy DeCarava's photographs frequently drew on his experiences in Harlem, where he lived for many years. Trained as a painter and printmaker, he began exploring photography in the late 1940s, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1952. Subsequently, he collaborated with Langston Hughes on The Sweet Flypaper of Life, which was published in 1955.
A master image-maker and photographic printer, DeCarava's photographs were created with a sophisticated, nuanced eye. His accomplished darkroom work resulted in stunning prints that capture the subtleties of a picture's mid-range or shadow tones along with its highlights. For collectors of African American Fine Art and Classical Photography, he is an important crossover figure whose images depict everyday life and convey the full meaning of "the photographic object."
Galassi, Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective (Museum of Modern Art), p. 211.