Oct 04, 2018 - Sale 2487

Sale 2487 - Lot 49

Price Realized: $ 30,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
JOHN BIGGERS (1924 - 2001)
Prempeh II (Ashanti Royalty).

Conte crayon on wove paper, 1957. 977x746 mm; 38 5/8x29 1/2 inches. Signed and dated in crayon, lower left.

Provenance: Ed Anderson Collection; The Limited Editions Club, New York; private collection, New York (1997).

Exhibited: The Art of John Biggers: View from the Upper Room, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, April 2 - September 3, 1995; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; October 15, 1995 - January, 13, 1996, and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, May 19 - July 14, 1996, with the labels on the frame back.

Illustrated: Alvia J. Wardlaw, The Art of John Biggers: View from the Upper Room, cat. no 86; p. 142.

This large and powerful, expressionist drawing by John Biggers is a bold portrait of the imprisoned Ashanti king Prempeh II (Prempeh). In 1957, Biggers and his wife traveled to Africa on a UNESCO grant to study Western African cultural traditions, becoming one of the first African-American artists to travel to Africa. This opportunity, which he described as 'the most significant in my life's experiences,' led to the publication of Ananse in 1962, which included 82 drawings and text based on his journeys in Ghana, Nigeria and other parts of Africa.