Oil on linen canvas, 1968. 838x559 mm; 33x22 inches. Signed in oil, lower center recto. Signed, titled, dated and in oil, verso.
Provenance: private collection, New York.
Seamstress reflects Benny Andrews's social realist interest in depicting working class people in New York. In October 1968, the exhibition The 1930's: Painting and Sculpture in America opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, including over 80 artists, but without any African American artists. In response, on November 17, Benny Andrews joined Norman Lewis, Faith Ringgold, Henri Ghent, and a group of other artists to picket the museum and mount Invisible Americans: Black Artists of the 1930s at the newly opened Studio Museum in Harlem. In 1968 Andrews also begins teaching visual art at Queens College in the SEEK program, which offers academic support for underserved students, where he continuted to teach for three decades. Biographical notes courtesy of the artist estate's web site.