Oct 05, 2017 - Sale 2456

Sale 2456 - Lot 37

Price Realized: $ 23,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 15,000 - $ 25,000
ROY DECARAVA (1919 - 2009)

Silver print, 1956. 330x229 mm; 13x9 inches. Printed in 1981. Signed, titled, dated "1956 (crossed out) 1981" and inscribed "©" in ink, verso. With the artist's ink stamp (his Manhattan address crossed out) and inscribed "81 Halsey St. Brooklyn, NY" in ink, verso. Also signed, titled "Dancers-1956", dated "1981" and inscribed "©" in ink on the original mount, recto, and with the artist's red ink stamp (his Brooklyn address), verso.

Provenance: gift from the artist; private collection, Maryland (1981).

Illustrated: (another print) Peter Galassi, Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective, p. 211; (another print) Bennett Simpson, Blues For Smoke, p. ii.

This iconic image of figures dancing in a Harlem dance hall is an important image by Roy DeCarava. This masterful photograph displays the artist's creative interests in mid-range tonalties with its subtle grays, and in recording his experiences living in Harlem in the late 1940s and 1950s. In 1952, DeCarava won the prestigious Guggenheim fellowship and became the first African-American photographer to receive this honor. In 1955, he published his photographs with a narrative by poet Langston Hughes in The Sweet Flypaper of Life. A master image-maker and photographic printer, DeCarava's photographs were created with a sophisticated, nuanced eye. Other prints of this photograph are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.