Apr 06, 2017 - Sale 2442

Sale 2442 - Lot 64

Price Realized: $ 11,875
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000
WILLIAM MAJORS (1930 - 1982)

Pen and ink on cream wove paper, 1963. 559x768 mm; 22x30 1/4 inches. Signed and dated "March 1963" in ink, lower right.

Provenance: the collection of the artist; private collection, New Jersey.

With a typed inventory label, "MOMA TR 481.5" (6) - this was likely part of a group of drawings by Majors reviewed by the Museum of Modern Art at the time. Another 1963 drawing, acquired by MoMA in 1963, is in their permanent collection today (in addition to a 1962 drawing).

Crucifixion is very scarce example of William Major's fine and expressive pen and ink drawing. William Majors was an influential artist, educator and a member of the Spiral group whose work has been largely overlooked. While many of his paintings, drawings and prints are in major museum collections, we could find no other records of a unique work by the artist at auction.

William Majors is best known today for his assocation with Spiral, the collective of African-American artists in New York which first came together in 1963 to form a unified artists' response to the Civil Rights struggle. Majors was joined by fellow artists Charles Alston, Emma Amos, Romare Bearden, Reginald Gammon, Felrath Hines, Alvin Hollingsworth, Norman Lewis, Richard Mayhew, Earl Miller, Merton Simpson, Hale Woodruff and James Yeargans. William Majors' later abstract work evolved from this early 1960s series of figurative work inspired by Bibical themes; a same-titled etching, 1962-63, is in the collection of the artist's estate.