Singing Saints by Sargent Claude Johnson

Singing Saints by Sargent Claude Johnson

Singing Saints

Sargent Claude Johnson

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.
Title

Singing Saints

 
Artist
Year
1940  
Technique
lithograph 
Image Size
12 x 9 1/4" image 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
41 of 150  
Annotations
pencil titled, lower left 
Reference
San Francisco Chronicle, March 17, 1940 
Paper
Warren's Olde Style ivory wove 
State
published 
Publisher
Published in the Contemporary Graphics series by the San Francisco Chronicle, this was presented on March 17, 1940 as part of the second series of prints 
Inventory ID
BEPA151 
Price
$16,500.00 
Description

This is the signature print of African American, San Francisco-based artist Sargent Johnson. Best known as a sculptor, his works - from paintings to graphics to prints to ceramics - retained a bold, rounded sculptural style that paid homage to African mask carvings, and also reflected the influence of the murals of Mexican modernists. Here, he presents two seated singers mid-refrain, one with guitar in hand. They mirror one another, the slope of their forms melding with the instrument in a joyous composition.

In 1940 the San Francisco Chronicle devised a "plan to bring western art to the western public" by presenting the series "Contemporary Graphics" to its readers. The series launched on Sunday, March 10, 1940, when they presented twenty original prints in four series over four consecutive Sundays. Works by Herman Volz, George Gaethke, Ray Bertrand, Rueben Kadish, and Arthur Murphy comprised the first series. Sunday, March 17th, the Chronicle presented the second series that included works by Glen Wessels, Sargent Johnson, A. Ray Burrell, Beckford Young, and Theodore Polos. The third series, featured on March 24th, included works by Dong Kingman, Shirley Staschen, Clay Spohn, Edgar Dorsey Taylor and George Harris. The fourth and final series was presented to the public on March 31, 1940, with works by Otis Oldfield, Benjamin Cunningham, Mallette Dean, John Haley, and Erle Loran. With the exception of Mallette Dean's linoleum block print, all the prints were original lithographs.

Each print was pencil signed and titled and the edition size was 150. The price for the individual works was $2.00 and they could be purchased in San Francisco from the following locales: the Chronicle, the City of Paris building, O’Connor, Moffatt, Paul Elder, Schwabacher-Frey, and Gumps. $2.00 in 1940 was a lot of money for most people, however, and with the war effort ramping up, the series was canceled and the unsold prints were dispersed amongst the publisher and the people involved in the project. Today, the prints stand as testament to a particular moment in the art scene of California: between the devastation of the Great Depression and the full scale of world war; when the melting pot of contemporary creativity was beginning, finally, to stretch its limbs yet again.

 
Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.