Feb 17, 2011 - Sale 2237

Sale 2237 - Lot 70

Price Realized: $ 21,600
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 25,000
VINCENT SMITH (1929 - 2004)
The Voices Are Stilled, (First New York Office of C.O.R.E.).

Oil on masonite, 1965. 1207x1156 mm; 47 1/2x45 1/2 inches. Signed in oil, lower right recto. Signed, titled and inscribed "oil on masonite" in pencil, verso.

Provenance: the artist, New York; private collection, New York.

Exhibited: Alexandre Fine Art, New York and G.W. Einstein, New York, with the labels on the frame back.

The Voices Are Stilled is a striking and important early painting by Vincent Smith, and the first significant work by the artist to come to auction. With intense nocturnal colors, Smith captures the light of an evening street populated by his typically quirky and expressive figures. This Brooklyn street scene also includes the small Bedford-Stuyvesant storefront office of the Congress of Racial Equality (or C.O.R.E.).

In addition to being part of the downtown New York jazz scene, Smith recorded some of the early manifestations of the black nationalist movement. Just as artists' groups like the Spiral Group responded to the Civil Rights struggles, artists also participated in group exhibitions to support political organizations such as C.O.R.E. In 1964, Romare Bearden showed his experimental collage and photomontage at Artists for C.O.R.E with such artists as Jim Dine and Alexander Calder at the Gallery of the American Federation of Arts. Fine p. 29.