Art & Fashion

Henry Taylor’s From Congo to the Capitol and Black Again

Sotheby's - Emerging from gestural brushstrokes and dense acrylic impasto, Henry Taylor’s Black demoiselles in From Congo to the Capital, and black again offer a palpable and critical revision to Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Taylor here revisits the canon of Western art history in a striking departure from his genre portraits of Black America in order to valiantly confront this lineage’s colonialist underpinnings. Picasso completed Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in Paris in 1907 shortly following a visit to the Musée d’Ethnographie du Trocadéro, where an encounter with the so-called primitive arts of tribal African and Oceanic sculpture influenced his painting’s revolutionary anti-naturalism. Exactly one century after the revelation of Picasso’s modernist masterpiece, Henry Taylor painted from Congo to back (and black again) in 2007 on a wooden shipping crate in a moment of sudden inspiration shortly upon his arrival in Paris. From Congo to the Capitol and Black Again from Henry Taylor will be offered in Sotheby’s Now Evening Auction on 18 May at Sotheby’s New York as a part of the New York Sales presented in partnership with CELINE.

Henry Taylor's Promiscuous Painting | The New Yorker

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From Congo to the Capital, and black again | The Now Evening Auction | 2023  | Sotheby's