SAN ROMANO: BLACK NINE

Reed, Robert (American, 1938-2014). SAN ROMANO: BLACK NINE. Mixed media, collage, assemblage. painted and colored papers and office staples, not dated, but 1980s. 30 x 30 inches, framed to 36 1/2 x 36 1/2 inches inches (image),

Provenance, private collection, White Plains, NY. In excellent condition.

ROBERT JAMES REED (1938-2014) earned his BFA (1960) and MFA (1962) at the Yale School of Art where in 1969 he became professor of painting and printmaking at Yale School of Art. He taught there until his death in 2014. As a student he assisted the influential Josef Albers in the technical production of color plates for Albers’s iconic work, Interaction of Color published in 1963. Reed became tenured in 1987, as the school’s first and only African American professor. In an interview, he said that he did not seek to distinguish himself through his racial identity but preferred to see himself as an artist who was African American. It is this self identification that could account for the fact that he is rarely grouped with other African American artists of his time like Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, David Driscoll and Faith Ringgold. Nonetheless, the symbols, colors and forms of his work draw upon his experience as a African American man. He produced works that are largely grouped by decades. In the 1970’s he developed the Plum Nellie series, exploring the Interaction of Color in his own terms. The meaning of Plum Nelly is not clear, although it may mean ‘you’re nearly there’. In the 1980’s, the San Romano series Reed regarded the gorgeous Paulo Uccello’s 15th Century paintings of the Battle of San Romano between the Republics of Florence and Sienna. These three panels are rendered in newly developing Renaissance perspective, in saturated colors and complex compositions. Reed’s last group was produced in the 1990’s called Tree For Mine where is childhood home in Charlottesville VA is the source for his painterly investigations.

Price: $28,000.00