Feb 23, 2010 - Sale 2203

Sale 2203 - Lot 64

Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
HAYWARD L. OUBRE (1916 - 2006)
Kneeling Mother (Mother and Child).

Cast bronze, with a dark brown patina, 1957. 825x560x530 mm; 32 1/2x22x21 inches. Cast in 1976 by the artist. With the artist's signature and date on the base.

Provenance: the estate of the artist.

An early plaster version is illustrated in Cedric Dover, American Negro Art, pl. 78, p. 156.

This large bronze is the first sculpture by this important artist to come to auction. Primarily known for his later wire sculptures, this bronze demonstrates the artist's early expressiveness in figurative sculpture. As with his Stevedore of 1945 in the Studio Museum in Harlem, in Kneeling Woman, Oubre gives a muscular form to figurative modernism.

Hayward Oubre was a painter, sculptor and a distinguished professor of art. Born in 1916 in New Orleans, Oubre earned his B.A. from Dillard University in 1939. During World War II, Oubre served in the all black 97th Regiment of the United States Army that constructed the 1,522-mile long Alcan Highway, a military supply route connecting Alaska to the continental United States. With painter Hale Woodruff and sculptor Nancy Elizabeth Prophet as mentors, Oubre also studied at Atlanta University. He later followed in the steps of Elizabeth Catlett when he became one of the first African Americans to earn a M.F.A. degree at the University of Iowa. He went on to teach at Florida A&M University, Alabama State College and Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina. As with many African-American artists/educators who worked in the South during the Jim Crow era, his uncompromising art went largely unrecognized. His artwork is found today in the collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Paul R. Jones Collection at the University of Delaware.