R o b e r t - B l a c k b u r nTT-1 9 2 0 - 2 0 0 3


Growing up in Harlem, Robert Blackburn became involved in the rich mix of art programs and creative groups available there, including Charles Alston's Harlem Arts Workshop, the Harlem YMCA and later the Harlem Artist's Guild. In 1937 he joined the WPA at the Harlem Community Art Center, the largest New York center for instruction in the arts. There he was exposed to Harlem's most prominent artists, among them Aaron Douglas, William Henry Johnson and Jacob Lawrence. He studied with Will Barnet and Vaclav Vytlacil at the Art Students League, which he attended in the early 1940s on scholarship. In 1949 he founded the Printmaking Workshop, an artist's cooperative modeled on Stanley William Hayter's Atelier 17.

 

Blackburn's ongoing commitment to the workshop and his innovative approach to the art of lithography was critical in shaping the development of the medium. In his capacity as master printmaker, Blackburn collaborated with many major American artists including Romare Bearden, Robert Motherwell, Jasper Johns, and Helen Frankenthaler.
From an early age, Blackburn was the recipient of many awards and fellowships including: the Frederick Douglas Guidance and Art Medals, John Wanamaker Medal, Spingarn Award, Robert Pious Award, Poussant Award, G.T. Pinckney Award, and the John Hay Whitney Traveling Fellowship.The artist's work is represented in numerous major American art museums and collections including: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Library of Congress.


Untitled (Modernist Still Life 1)TT-c.1948, Gouache.

Unsigned.

Image size 23 5/8 x 17 5/8 inches (600 x 448 mm).

A fine spontaneous work, with fresh colors, on cream wove drawing paper; the image extending to the sheet edge, in excellent condition.

Provenance: Adrienne E. Wheeler Collection, acquired directly from the artist.

SOLD


Untitled (Modernist Still Life)TT-c. 1950, Color Woodcut.

Unsigned.

Image size 7 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches (191 x 159 mm); sheet size 14 x 12 inches (356 x 305 mm).

A fine, richly-inked impression, on cream wove Japan paper; the full sheet with margins (2 1/4 to 4 inches). A crease 1/2 inch in from the top right sheet corner, well away from the image; minor surface soiling in the outer margins, otherwise in very good condition. Very scarce.

Provenance: Adrienne E. Wheeler Collection, acquired directly from the artist.

$1200.


Untitled (Reclining Nude)TT-c.1948, Brush and Ink.

Unsigned.

Image size 18 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches (476 x 597 mm).

A fine, spontaneous work, on cream wove paper. Slight toning to the sheet edges; otherwise in excellent condition.

Provenance: Adrienne E. Wheeler Collection, acquired directly from the artist.

$2200.


Untitled (Laying Nude)TT-c.1948, Brush and Ink.

Unsigned.

Image size 18 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches (476 x 597 mm).

A fine, spontaneous work, on cream wove paper. Slight toning to the sheet edges and a small (1/2 inch) restored loss in the top left sheet edge, well away from the image; otherwise in excellent condition.

Provenance: Adrienne E. Wheeler Collection, acquired directly from the artist.

SOLD


Untitled (Still Life with Mandolin)TT-c.1948, Pen and Ink.

Unsigned.

Image size 15 3/4 x 19 1/2 inches (400 x 495 mm); sheet size18 3/4 x 23 1/2 inches (476 x 597 mm).

A fine, spontaneous work, on cream laid drawing paper. Slight toning to the sheet edges; otherwise in excellent condition.

Provenance: Adrienne E. Wheeler Collection, acquired directly from the artist.

SOLD



Untitled (Abstract Composition)TT-c.1948, Etching with aquatint.

Three unique progressive proof impressions, each with extensive watercolor and pencil additions.

These proofs represent an intriging demonstration of the artist's experimental approach to the development of a finished graphic.

Provenance: Adrienne E. Wheeler Collection, acquired directly from the artist.

$3200 –the set of three


 

Abstract Composition, Proof I

Unsigned.

Image size 13 7/8 x 13 5/8 inches (352 x 346 mm); sheet size 19 x 16 inches (483 x 406 mm).

A proof impression, on cream wove paper, with full margins (7/8 to 2 5/8 inches), in good condition.

 


 

Abstract Composition, Proof II

Unsigned.

Image size 13 3/4 x 13 7/8 inches (349 x 352 mm); sheet size 17 1/2 x 23 inches (445 x 584 mm).

A proof impression, with extensive additions in watercolor and pencil, on cream wove paper, with full margins (1 5/8 to 4 5/8 inches), in good condition.

 


 

Abstract Composition, Proof III

Unsigned.

Image size 13 7/8 x 13 11/16 inches (352 x 348 mm); sheet size 16 3/4 x 23 inches (425 x 584 mm).

A proof impression, with extensive additions in pencil, on cream wove paper, with full margins (1 1/4 to 4 3/4 inches), in good condition.

 



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