CULTURE & ARTS

15 African American Art World Game Changers

Last week we featured 30 African American artists who are shaping and defining the contemporary art landscape. But even the most inventive and fearless of artistic revolutionaries follow in the footsteps of those before them.

This week we're revisiting an earlier generation, the artists who paved the way for today's contemporary masters. From collage visionary Romare Bearden to Abstract Expressionist Norman Lewis, the following artists broke into existing artistic genres while creating some of their own. A collection of groundbreaking works from the Postwar era, dating from as early as the 1940's to as late as 2010, are heading to auction as part of "Point of Departure: Postwar African-American Fine Art."

Behold, 15 pieces of game-changing African American artworks.

1. Norman Lewis's Untitled Painting

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Norman Lewis, Untitled, oil on canvas, circa 1957.

2. Romare Bearden's "Christ Healing the Sick"

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Romare Bearden, Christ Healing the Sick, oil on panel, 1945.

3. Radcliffe Bailey's Untitled Sculpture

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Radcliffe Bailey, Untitled, model ship and black glitter, 2010

4. Robert Colescott's "Shakespeare's Africans"

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Robert Colescott, Shakespeare's Africans, acrylic and gel medium on canvas, 1994.

5. Alvin D. Loving Jr.'s "Karin and Janie Talking"

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Alvin D. Loving, Jr., Karin and Janie Talking, collage, 1976.

6. Beauford Delaney's Untitled Painting

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Beauford Delaney, Untitled, oil on canvas, 1968.

7. Bill Hutson's "The Black Painting"

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Bill Hutson, The Black Painting, oil on canvas, 1971

8. Charles White's "Hope Imprisoned"

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Charles White, Hope Imprisoned, tempera, 1946.

9. Elizabeth Catlett's "Head"

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Elizabeth Catlett, Head, terra-cotta, 1947.

10. Frank Bowling's Untitled Work

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Frank Bowling, Untitled, 1972

11. Gaylord Hassan's "Brother Rap"

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Gaylord Hassan, Brother Rap, oil on canvas, 1968.

12. Hale Woodruff's "Gathering Storm (Blue Landscape)"

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Hale Woodruff, Gathering Storm (Blue Landscape), oil on canvas, circa 1958-60.

13. Hughie Lee Smith's "Infinity (Infinity Seascape)"

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Hughie Lee Smith, Infinity (Infinity Seascape), oil on canvas, circa 1970

14. Jack Whitten's "Grit Revisited (Study for Black Monolith, III)"

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Jack Whitten, Grit Revisited (Study for Black Monolith, III), ink and collage, 1997.

15. Mavis Pusey's "Nuvae"

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Mavis Pusey, Nuvae, oil on canvas, circa 1968.

"Point of Departure: Postwar African-American Fine Art" takes place on October 3rd at 2:30 pm. See the full catalogue here. All images Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries.

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