Dec 10, 2020 - Sale 2554

Sale 2554 - Lot 141

Price Realized: $ 25,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
ROBERT NEAL (1916 - 1987)
Cheese and Butter Line.

Oil on cotton canvas, 1984. 965x813 mm; 36x30 inches. Signed and dated in oil, lower right recto. Titled and dated in pencil, upper right verso.

Provenance: the artist, Dayton, Ohio, with his handwritten label on the frame back; the estate of the artist, private collection, Ohio.

Robert Neal's powerful painting of a line of people waiting for food is a reminder of how poverty and hunger affects the lives of many different Americans.

A native of Atlanta, Robert Neal was a student of Hale Woodruff's and became his studio assistant at Spelman College, working on the Talladega College Amistad murals in 1939. At the same time, Neal exhibited his own paintings and was included in the 1939 Baltimore Museum of Art's Contemporary Negro Art, the first museum group exhibition of African-American artists, and the 1940 Exhibition of the Art of the American Negro (1851-1940) at the Tanner Galleries in Chicago, the largest survey of African-American art at the time. Neal is also mentioned in Alain Locke's 1940 The Negro in Art: A Pictorial Record of The Negro Artist and of The Negro Theme In Art, and James A. Porter's 1943 Modern Negro Art

Robert Neal moved to Dayton, Ohio in the 1940s; unfortunately, little is recorderd about his latter life or career. His paintings are now in the collections of the High Museum and the Columbus Museum of Art. Heydt pp. 80, 132.