Beauford Delaney, ‘Portrait of a Lady’, 1968, Bill Hodges Gallery

About Beauford Delaney

A Harlem Renaissance painter who highlighted that which was often overlooked, Beauford Delaney focused on people on the fringes of society. Working in a lyrically abstract style, Delaney sought to reveal the essence and enigma of forms and figures. He worked primarily with pastels during the 1930s and began experimenting with street scenes during the 1940s, producing bright swaths of paint in heavy impasto. After moving to Paris during the 1950s and gaining exposure to influential literary circles and jazz clubs, Delaney began to work in a nonrepresentational, expression-driven style. Inspired by the improvisation of jazz music, his works grew increasingly unpredictable and nontraditional. While his subject matter addressed post–Great Depression poverty, homelessness, and black disenfranchisement, Delaney was ultimately more concerned with self-expression and self-discovery than social commentary.

American, 1901-1979

Exhibition Highlights

2017
Levis Fine Art, 
New York,
Beauford Delaney and Herbert Gentry: Breaking the Barrier of Blackness
1999
New York, NY, United States,
Beauford Delaney: Liquid Light: Paris Abstractions
1995
New York, NY, United States,
Beauford Delaney: Paris Abstractions from 1960s

Solo Shows

1999
New York, NY, United States,
Beauford Delaney: Liquid Light: Paris Abstractions
1995
New York, NY, United States,
Beauford Delaney: Paris Abstractions from 1960s

Group Shows

2017
Levis Fine Art, 
New York,
Beauford Delaney and Herbert Gentry: Breaking the Barrier of Blackness
2014
New York, NY, United States,
Beyond the Spectrum: Abstraction in African American Art, 1950-1975
2014
New York, NY, United States,
RISING UP/UPRISING: Twentieth Century African American Art
2013
New York, NY, United States,
Abstract Expressionism / In Context: Seymour Lipton
2012
New York, NY, United States,
INsite/INchelsea: The Inaugural Exhibition
2011
New York, NY, United States,
Evolution in Action
View Artist's CV