Four Part Shape Theme by Benjamin Leroy Wigfall

Four Part Shape Theme by Benjamin Leroy Wigfall

Four Part Shape Theme

Benjamin Leroy Wigfall

Title

Four Part Shape Theme

 
Artist
Year
1971  
Technique
mixed technique color collagraph 
Image Size
21 1/2 x 19 3/16" image size 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
Artist's color state proof, never editioned 
Annotations
pencil titled, dated and annotated "Artist Proof". 
Reference
 
Paper
aged, antique-white Arches wove with watermark 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
20944 
Price
$1,750.00 
Description

African-American printmaker Benjamin Wigfall studied at Yale with Gabor Peterdi. He got his M.A. and spent many years teaching at the State University of New York in New Paltz.

Wigfall cut this plate into the heart-like shape and used various intaglio techniques to create a universe within the form, including adding elements to the surface of the plate to create three dimensional areas. He printed this proof in yellow, others were printed in colors. He did not edition this image.

At Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia in the 1940s, Wigfall pestered the principal to hire an art teacher. One arrived just in time -- the spring semester of Wigfall's senior year. The teacher helped Wigfall secure private lessons at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. "I didn't even know there was a museum in my city," Wigfall said. "It was a segregated city, and I was in a very segregated part of a segregated city." His exposure to the museum's collection, coupled with advice from African-American community leaders who respected his talent, led him to study art in college.

He enrolled in Hampton Institute, now Hampton University,a private historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia, where he received a VMFA student fellowship one year. He graduated in 1953 and received a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship to pursue graduate study.

Wigfall would later earn a master's degree in art from Yale University. In the meantime, he taught art at Hampton Institute and married Mary Carter, a Richmond native and Hampton graduate. He finished his degree work at Yale in the late 1950s and continued to teach at Hampton until 1963, when he was hired to teach art at the State University of New York at New Paltz, New York. He retired as an Art Professor at SUNY after teaching for over 30 years.

 

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