Feb 21, 2019 - Sale 2499

Sale 2499 - Lot 140

Price Realized: $ 52,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
ROY DECARAVA (1919-2009)
Dancers (Harlem). Silver print, the image measuring 13x8 3/4 inches (33x22.2 cm.), the sheet 14x11 inches (35.6x28 cm.), with DeCarava's signature, copyright, and date, in ink, on recto, and his notations, in ink, on verso. 1955; printed 1982

Additional Details

Acquired by the Witkin Gallery, New York, New York, in 1991. DeCarava had several one-man exhibitions at the gallery: in 1977, 1982, and February 1990.

Roy DeCarava's photographs are masterpieces of light and shadow. He initially worked as a painter and a printmaker but began exploring photography in the late 1940s. By 1952, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Subsequently, he collaborated with Langston Hughes on The Sweet Flypaper of Life, which was published in 1955.

A remarkable photographer-cum imagemaker, DeCarava was a sophisticated photographic printer, creating photographs that drew on his experiences living in Harlem. With a nuanced eye his accomplished analogue darkroom work resulted in stunning prints that capture the subtleties of a picture's mid-range or shadow areas, a range of black tones that served as a metaphor for the African American experience. A remarkable 20th-century artist, his photographs were the subject of a retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art, in 1996.

Galassi, Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective (Museum of Modern Art), p. 211.