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Estimate: $ 25,000 - $ 35,000
WADSWORTH JARRELL (1929 - ) Festival #4.
Acrylic on cotton canvas, 1979. 1721x1372 mm; 67 3/4x54 3/4 inches. Signed and dated in acrylic, lower right.
Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; private collection, Georgia.
Illustrated: Robert L. Douglas, Wadsworth Jarrell: The Artist as Revolutionary, plate 28, p. 55.
This painting by Wadsworth Jarrell is a significant canvas from his late 1970s period. In 1978, Wadsworth Jarrell left his position teaching at Howard University in Washington, DC and joined the faculty at the University of Georgia in Athens. This painting is part of a series he begun in 1977 based on images from a trip to Nigeria. Jarrell incorporates enlogated, large African drummers and dancers with a mix of geometric patterns and abstraction. In his monograph on the artist, Robert Douglas describes the painting as a work exhibited that year in Georgia. He also notes that the lizard here signifies that "Africans, as the first people, have the right to speak on their own behalf."
Wadsworth Jarrell was a leading figure of the Black Arts movement and one of the founding members of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA), the artist collective that he and fellow artists Barbara Jones-Hogu, Jeff Donaldson, Jae Jarrell, Napoleon Henderson, Nelson Stevens and Gerald Williams formed in Chicago in 1969. He is best known for his 1971 iconic painting Revolutionary that was exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem in the AfriCOBRA II exhibition from 1971-72 and is now in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum. Douglas pp. 55-56.