Auction  January 11, 2019  Megan D Robinson

Phillips Exhibition Showcases Important African American Art

© The Romare Bearden Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York

Romare Bearden, Morning: The Broken Wheel, 1986

Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California.

Betye Saar, Domestic Life, 2007. Mixed media assemblage.

Now at Phillips’ New York gallery space, the AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN selling exhibition examines the historical and social impact of African American artists from the 1950’s to the present. Open to the public through February 8, this major exhibition showcases 64 artists and over 60 works in a variety of genres. African American art excelled at auction in 2018, and this exhibition provides collectors and art lovers with an unprecedented opportunity to see and buy important works in this growing market.

AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN—likely the largest selling exhibition of African American artists to date—clearly articulates the increasing and exceptional importance of African American art and artists within the historical canon. It gives proper recognition to these extraordinary artists of the 20th and early 21st centuries alongside their contemporaries,” says Arnold Lehman, Phillips’ Senior Advisor and Director Emeritus of the Brooklyn Museum. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring. . . these amazingly talented artists to collectors and exhibition visitors from New York and beyond.”

Radcliffe Bailey, Madagascar 1, 2016
© Radcliffe Bailey. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Radcliffe Bailey, Madagascar 1, 2016. Mixed media including collage elements, paint, glass on panel.

Tyree Guyton, Highway, 2008
Courtesy of the artist and Martos Gallery, New York

Tyree Guyton, Highway, 2008. Acrylic, plastic and paint lids on Masonite.

Cameron Welch, Pathfinder, 2018
© 2018 Cameron Welch

Cameron Welch, Pathfinder, 2018. Oil, acrylic, spray paint, ceramic, and found objects on panel.


Featuring work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Bradford, Romare Bearden, Betye Saar, Kehinde Wiley, Fred Wilson, and Mickalene Thomas, among others, the exhibition presents an impressive collection of paintings, photographs and sculpture.  All of the works will be on view until the end of the show, and are being sold privately throughout the duration of the exhibition. The prices range from under $10,000 up to several million dollars. 

Phillips is hosting a panel discussion, in conjunction with the exhibition on January 14. Lehman, Brooklyn curator Ashley James, writer, critic and artist Deborah Willis, and chair of education at the Met, Sandra Jackson-Dumont, will discuss the the revolutionary artistic, social and political atmosphere of the 1960’s, viewed through the lens of the Tate’s exhibition, Soul of the Nation, currently at the Brooklyn Museum, and AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN.

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.

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