Beauford Delaney, ‘Portrait of a Young Musician’, 1970, The Studio Museum in Harlem

Photo: Marc Bernier

Circa 1970 at The Studio Museum in Harlem, November 17, 2016–March 5, 2017. Circa 1970 is organized by Lauren Haynes, former Associate Curator, Permanent Collection, at The Studio Museum in Harlem and now Curator, Contemporary Art, at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

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