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NEW WAVE NEW BEAT: PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTION

Henry Taylor
C&H
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
Double Dagger
Indicates that the lot is being sold whilst subject to Temporary Importation, and that VAT is due at the reduced rate
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
120,000180,000
LOT SOLD. 274,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
10

NEW WAVE NEW BEAT: PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTION

Henry Taylor
C&H
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
UK: Greenford Park
Lots marked W will be sent to Greenford Park Fine Art Storage Facility immediately after the auction.
Double Dagger
Indicates that the lot is being sold whilst subject to Temporary Importation, and that VAT is due at the reduced rate
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
120,000180,000
LOT SOLD. 274,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

|
London

Henry Taylor
B. 1958
C&H

Provenance

Sister, Los Angeles
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2006

Exhibited

Los Angeles, Sister, Henry Taylor: Get Black, March - April 2006

Long Island City, MoMA PS1, Henry Taylor, January - April 2012, p. 72, illustrated in colour

Catalogue Note

At once intimate in theme and monumental in scale, C&H is an exuberant and sensuous snapshot of Henry Taylor’s distinctive way of seeing. Painted in 2006, the present work demonstrates the principal hallmarks of Taylor’s aesthetic: large-scale and vibrant, this canvas portrays a variety of intersecting narratives involving the Black communities of California. Depicting friends, family, acquaintances, homeless people, psychiatric patients, and art world colleagues, critics and viewers, Taylor’s gaze is warmly democratic and levelling; representing all by means of his rich, bright palette. In C&H, the viewer is met by a large group of immaculately-dressed people, of which the majority are women in smart, black dresses, who have gathered on a luscious green lawn before a building. Some are children held or supervised by loving adults while others are captured in a moment of tender embrace. The ‘C&H’ logo of the California and Hawaiian Sugar Company – which had operated out of Crockett, California for exactly one hundred years when this painting was made – looms large behind the heads of the group and foreshadows Kara Walker’s 2014 A Subtlety, which explored the US sugar industry’s exploitation of African Americans. In an uncanny and humorous twist, a giant figure – presumably Taylor himself clad in dungarees and white shirt – watches over the scene from behind a house. Smiling and benevolent, Taylor represents himself, not without irony and frivolity, as a kind of guardian over the occasion. Displaying a redemptive and moving harmony, C&H represents a community united by their shared history and an artist intent on documenting it. Taylor enjoyed a major, mid-career retrospective at MoMA PS1 in 2012 (in which the present work was exhibited), as well as solo exhibitions at the Studio Museum, Harlem in April 2007, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art in September 2008.

Demonstrating both a shrewd critical eye and a delicate sensibility, Taylor’s art betrays a wide range of influences and an enigmatic, evasive manner. Shown in his March 2011 exhibition at the Los Angeles Blum & Poe Gallery, See Alice Jump (2011) depicts the first African-American Olympic Gold medal winner Alice Coachman as she vaults a hurdle against a crisp, cerulean sky. In the same exhibition, the portrait Noah (2011) portrays a young boy – a relative of the artist’s – in a style redolent of Henri Matisse. If comparisons are most commonly made between Taylor and Kerry James Marshall – who are, of course, of a similar age – Taylor’s clear preoccupation with the notion of community aligns him to greater extent with Mark Bradford. In a recent video made for W Magazine and The New York Times, Taylor comments that his “influences vary… of course you reflect, and you get nostalgic, and you go back into your past, to your Dad and Mom”. At one point in this video, Taylor shows us a found advertisement, aimed at African American men, for a barbershop on which Taylor has painted the iconic barber’s pole of red, white and blue. Recalling Bradford’s work on the logos of collective Black identity, this moment evinces Bradford and Taylor's shared awareness of sites – including the barbershop – of solidarity, exchange and wisdom in the Californian African-American community. Such spaces have historically served as points of refuge against externally imposed working-conditions, which are metonymised in the present work by the ignored C&H logo.

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

|
London