Provenance: the artist; Samella Lewis, Los Angeles (1989); the estate of George F. & Alma J. Cameron, Los Angeles.
This iconic work by Richmond Barthé is an important and large bronze by the artist made at the peak of his career. Margaret Vendryes describes this sculpture of muscular dock worker standing on a i-beam in great length - he is both "Barthé's most aggressive black male figure" and "a personal statement". With the epitome of a chiseled physique and commanding presence, the figure of a longshoreman was elevated to great heights by the artist. Barthé had created both a new type of masculine presence in his oeuvre, and a new depiction of a powerful black man.
Stevedore was a non-commissioned work made from the artist's own funds. Vendryes describes how Barthé kept it out of storage and with him when he moved. He later gifted his cast to the St. Ann's Parish Public Library in Jamiaca. This later cast has a longer rope that extends above the hand. This is the first time a cast of Stevedore has come to auction. Another example of this 1985 casting is the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Vendryes pp. 92-96.