Walter Sanford

American (1912–1987)

About the artist:

Walter Sanford, also known as Sanford, (30 January 1912 – 3 July 1987), was an American artist who spent almost every day of his adult life painting in Chicago and Detroit. He was one of the first and only black social realism and abstract expressionist artists of the 20th century. He was heralded “Black Picasso” and “Detroit’s Picasso” for his cubist figure paintings and in 1958 he won the Prix de Paris La Grande Saison de Paris at the Raymond Duncan Galleries. He opened the first black-owned art gallery and exhibited at the first Negro Art Exhibition and Negro History Week in Detroit. Sanford was hailed as one of Michigan’s foremost modern art painters in 1952. Sanford was part of the Second Wave (1941-1960) of the Black Chicago Renaissance of African-American artists and embraced a range of styles and influences. An expressionist until 1945, Sanford was clearly influenced by and followed Pablo Picasso’s cubism in his paintings, then switched to abstract expressionism for 18 years. During this period, he traveled and worked in Mexico, France, and Las Vegas, but always returned to his home in Chicago. In 1962, he moved Sanford Studio (171 W. Oak Street, Chicago) to the city's South Side. He returned to social realism and entertained guests in his new studio while he painted for them. Sanford’s first exhibition was at the age of 18 at the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago. In 1937, he took evening classes at the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied oil painting, tempera, ink, pencil, and pastel drawing. He moved to Detroit in 1938 where he studied for a year under artist and head of the art department John Carroll[2] at the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. Sanford became particularly popular in the 1960s for his ink drawings like those of Frederick Douglass, Duke Ellington, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, Buddy Rich, and Miles Davis. He won many awards and exhibited in more than 40 major shows, including over two dozen one-man shows that he started in 1941. His works hang in hundreds of private collections in Europe and North America and have been exhibited at a variety of locations including the Stuttgart Museum (Germany), Afro Arts Cultural Center (New York), Little Gallery (with Charles Culver, Michigan), Las Vegas Art League (Nevada), Union Gallery (Purdue University, Indiana), Detroit Institute of Art (Michigan), South Shore Cultural Center (Chicago) and South Side Community Art Center (Chicago). Sources: Hine, Darlene C. and McCluskey, John. (2012) The Black Chicago Renaissance, University of Illinois Press, p. 183 Johnson Publishing Company (June 1963). Black World/Negro Digest. Johnson Publishing Company The Chicago Tribune, July 7, 1987 Submitted by: Mae Gentry, Source: AskArt

Walter Sanford

American (1912–1987)

(2 works)

About the artist:

Walter Sanford, also known as Sanford, (30 January 1912 – 3 July 1987), was an American artist who spent almost every day of his adult life painting in Chicago and Detroit. He was one of the first and only black social realism and abstract

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