Oct 19, 2023 - Sale 2649

Sale 2649 - Lot 53

Price Realized: $ 6,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
TED JOANS (1938 - 2003)

Graphite, pencil and crayon on cream wove paper, 1964. 311x413 mm; 12 1/4x16 1/4 inches, full margins. Signed, dated and inscribed "Paris" in pencil, upper right.

Provenance: private collection, Paris.

Joans was an avant-garde artist and a self-described Surrealist poet, painter, collagist and jazz musician. Born in Cairo, Illinois, as Theodore Jones, he played the trumpet and studied jazz. Growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky, he earned a degree in fine arts from Indiana University, before moving in 1951 to New York. He authored thirty art and poetry books, and exhibited extensively in both the United States and Europe, beginning in the 1950s. An expatriate artist in the early 1960s, Joans became a legendary figure in bohemian art and poetry circles across Europe. "Ted Joans' poetry is one paradigm of an era, soundings from one of the more colorful individuals who lit it up, whose voice still brightens the curious world he ceaselessly observes. […] Ted is still the world's most Bohemian Beat, Outside Brother."— Amiri Baraka.

Joans met first-generation surrealist André Breton in June 1960 during a chance encounter and remained friends and peers discussing the global impact of surrealism. Between 1962 and 1969, he participated in the Parisian group's meetings alongside the Second generation of Francophone surrealists such as Jean-Jacques Lebel and Jean Schuster. Joans later became an active member of the first group of surrealists in America that formed in Chicago in 1966 under the leadership of Franklin and Penelope Rosemont.

In 2022, Joans' art was featured in the exhibition Surrealism Beyond Borders organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which traveled to Tate Modern, London. Joans' collaborative work Exquisite Corpse,, that the artist worked on for decades with colleagues, was the subject of a 2001 film made by his friend David Hammons.