Feb 16, 2012 - Sale 2268

Sale 2268 - Lot 50

Estimate: $ 50,000 - $ 75,000
Untitled (Max Roach Album Art).

Group of 4 color screenprints, one printed on corrugated cardboard, three printed on wove paper, 1977. Each 13x11 inches, full margins. Each print (except the blue one), is inscribed with "Photo/Silkscreen, Bruce Talamon/David Hammons" and their NYC telephone numbers in ink by Talamon on the verso.

Provenance: the estate of Max Roach, New York, with a signed and dated "4/6/77" letter written from Bruce Talamon, and the original cardboard box, sent to "Mr. Max Roach" at his Amherst, MA address. Bruce Talamon gives Roach David Hammons's Just Above Midtown Gallery West 57th Street address and phone number as contact as "the other half of this collaboration is in New York now." Talamon describes how "we are both excited about these pictures, and would like you to consider them or at least the concept for any graphic work you might need on albums."

It is not known if any project by Max Roach with this artwork was ever realized. Roach's music labels employed a number of artists to design his album covers. Additionally, he has been the subject of many artists' portraits, from William Gottlieb's photographs of him playing jazz in clubs in the late 1940s to Jean-Michel Basquiat's painting, Max Roach, 1984.

David Hammons and Bruce Talamon are closely associated with the vibrant Los Angeles and New York art scenes in the late 1970s. Almost every David Hammons installation or event at the time was photographed by his friend Talamon. The exhibition catalogue Now Dig This: Art & Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, illustrates several of Talamon's photographs of Hammons creating body prints in the Just Above Midtown Gallery.