Monday, January 24, 2011

Beauford Delaney

Self Portrait, 1944

This current show
at the National Portrait Gallery
included this portrait
by Beauford Delaney (1901-1979)

that led me to discover
the above self portrait
in the collection
of the Art Institute of Chicago

So, I had to
run down to the loop
and take a look at it
this weekend.

It's so much more lively in person!

(which again makes one question
why the museum doesn't present
larger reproductions on its website)

As a throwback to the Post-Impressionism
of Cezanne and Van Gogh,
as well as an African American,
Delaney barely scraped by
in his career as an artist
during his lifetime.

There's a lot of angst here,
just barely kept under control.

But it is kept under control
and so the tension
is enjoyable.

As it is with the great
jazz musicians of his time.

Doesn't he remind you
of Thelonious Monk?


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