Color pastels on thin tan wove paper, 1951. 457x610 mm; 18x24 inches. Signed and dated in pastel, lower left. With a partial sketch of a landscape in charcoal on the verso.
Provenance: the Ness Oleson Trust. The late Frannie Ness and Gary Oleson were the proprietors of Waiting for Godot Books of Hadley, MA, which specialized in rare American and English books, including African American literature.
This very beautiful, colorful drawing is a very scarce example of Beauford Delaney's modernist work in color pastels from the early 1950s, and shows his move toward abstraction at the time. In 1950, Beauford Delaney had a two month fellowship at Yaddo the artist and writer's colony near Sarasota Springs. The freedom and the camaraderie he experienced there increased both his affinity with abstraction and his interest in Paris. In 1951 he did several paintings and drawings that approached complete abstraction. Soon after Delaney decided to leave New York, and following his friend James Baldwin immigrated to Paris in 1953.
Delaney's landscapes in color pastels are seldom seen at auction. Swann sold another Delaney color pastel Greenhouse at Yaddo, 1950 in 2017. Two other early 1950s landscapes in color pastels were once in the collection of Delaney's friend, famed caricaturist Al Hirschfeld; one was sold at Doyle, New York in 2013, and another, also dated 1951, was sold at Cornette Saint Cyr, Paris in 2018.