Apr 06, 2017 - Sale 2442

Sale 2442 - Lot 39

Price Realized: $ 11,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000

Carved wood, 1953-56. 686x152x152 mm; 27x6x6 inches (not including the base). Incised with the artist's name in lower left near the base, verso.

Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; private collection, New York.

Exhibited: Loss and Redemption: The Art of James C. McMillan, Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA, 2009.

Illustrated: Harris, Shawnya. The Art of James C. McMillan: Discovering An African-American Master, fig. 1, p. 4.

This expressive figure is the first sculpture of James McMillan to come to auction. Afro-Thinker displays how McMillan developed his own aesthetic by combining modernism and social realism - in sculpture as well as painting. According to Harris, McMillan created Afro-Thinker after earning his MFA at Catholic University, Washington DC, when he learned to carve freestanding sculpture. McMillan's used modern and African motifs to carve his version of Rodin's famous sculpture. This work also shows the growing influence of other African-American artists of the 1940s, including Elizabeth Catlett, John Wilson, and in particular Charles White, with the figure's enlarged hands and arms. Harris p. 20.