William Edmondson Sculpture Fetches Auction Record for Outsider Art

  • William Edmonson.  Boxer, circa 1936

    William Edmonson. Boxer, circa 1936

    Christie's

Christie's inaugural sale of self-taught artists on Friday was led by William Edmondson’s Boxer, which brought $785,000, well above its $150,000-250,000 estimate. The price set a record in the category, according to Christie's, surpassing the previous top price set by Henry Darger’s Sans titre, which sold for $745,076 in 2014.

The sale, titled “Liberation Through Expression: Outsider and Vernacular Art,” brought a total $1.5 million overall for 44 works categorzied as by "self-taught" artists (not formally-trained).

Edmondson (1874-1951), the son of former slaves, came to sculpture at age 57, after working as a janitor and stonemason in Nashville, Tenn. He first carved tombstones, later turning toward freestanding sculptures that were displayed around his yard. Edmondson's powerful figures caught the attention of Alfred H. Barr, Jr., then-director of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1937, Edmondson became the first African American to have a solo exhibition at MoMA.

Likely modeled after Joe Louis, Boxer "is a reflection of American popular culture of the era and shows Edmondson’s pride in his cultural identity," states Christie's catalog.

More News Feed Headlines

View of Skirball Fire near the Getty Center.  via Twitter, Melissa Castro‏ @Healthgap_mila

The Getty, Skirball Cultural Center Close Under Wildfire Threat

  • December 06, 2017 14:17

The Getty Center closed to protect its art collections on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as ...

Read More

Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi

New Twists in 'Salvator Mundi' Tale as the Jesus Portrait Heads to Louvre Abu Dhabi

  • December 06, 2017 13:04

UPDATE, Sunday: Initial reports last week that the world's most expensive painting sold to a ...

Read More

The Diamond Eagle presented to George Washington

George Washington's Diamond Eagle Medal On Display With Newly-Discovered 7-Foot Watercolor in Philadelphia Exhibition

  • December 06, 2017 12:26

The Diamond Eagle — an exquisite jewel-encrusted medal owned and worn by George Washington — is ...

Read More

Lubaina Himid, 2017.  Courtesy of the artist and Hollybush Gardens Photo: Edmund Blok for Modern Art Oxford

Lubaina Himid is First Non-White Woman, and the Oldest Person, to Win Turner Prize

  • December 05, 2017 20:31

Britain's prestigious Turner Prize, awarded in contemporary art, has named its 2017 recipient--an ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire