Jan 30, 2020 - Sale 2528

Sale 2528 - Lot 21

Price Realized: $ 3,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 5,000
JOSEPH A. KERSEY (1909 - 1982)
Three Witch Doctors Bedes (Benin).

Oil on masonite board, 1970. 457x610 mm; 18x24 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower right recto. Signed and titled in ink, verso.

Provenance: the Johnson Publishing Company, Inc., Chicago.

This fascinating, almost Surrealist, painting depicts African voodoo charms of the 17th Century set in a landscape. A Chicago native, Joseph Kersey was educated in Chicago public schools and attended the Art Institute of the Chicago. He was a member of the Arts and Crafts Guild founded by the painter George E. Neal. The artists group, including Margaret Burroughs, Eldzier Cortor, Charles Davis, Charles Sebree and Charles White, met in Neal's coach house studio at 32nd and Michigan Avenues. Establishing himself as distinguished sculptor in the early 1940s, Kersey was included in several important exhibtions, including Exhibition of the Art of the American Negro (1851-1940) at the Tanner Galleries, the inaugural exhibition of the South Side Community Art Center, both in Chicago in 1940, and the 1942 Downtown Gallery exhibition American Negro Art, 19th and 20th Centuries in New York. James A. Porter noted Kersey's long career in his influential history Modern Negro Art. Today his sculpture is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Barnett-Aden Collection.