A truly unique and different Clementine, depicting something she often saw and sometimes portrayed (fistfights) but usually in the context of an exterior bar scene with multiple fighters (sometimes with guns or knives) -- not like this: a simplified, potent image that is the essence of much good folk art. If you were watching the prices of Clementine Hunter's work last year, you will know that they soared to astronomical heights. Black artists have been in the spotlight lately, and while Clementine Hunter has been a big regional artist for a very long time, she's a national figure now and is being added to many museum collections. Institutions and prominent collectors have moved in hard. At any rate, the first thing to ask about any Clementine is: is it authentic. Yes, there are fakes, and paintings by her son that are mistaken for (or presented as) hers. This one has been authenticated by "the" Clementine expert, Tom Whitehead, who has a close association with my source for this painting. Of course it has my own guarantee as well; I have sold many Clementines. You can find fakes at auction houses (many of them outside of the New Orleans area) and other venues that don't ask questions, for a lot less money, but don't be fooled!
The painting is 14" x 18", slightly larger with frame. Oil on canvasboard, as most are.
Here's some background information from the Melrose Plantation website:
Clementine Hunter (December 4, 1886/1887 – January 1, 1988) was born on Hidden Hill Plantation before later moving up the Cane River to work at Melrose Plantation. It was at Melrose that Hunter discovered paints and brushes left behind by a visiting artist. With these humble tools, Hunter began painting – or as she called it, “marking a picture” - various scenes of plantation life including picking cotton, gathering pecans, washing clothes, ceremonial baptisms and funeral scenes. Her resourceful nature led her to paint on discarded items such as window shades, cardboard boxes, jugs, bottles and gourds. Hunter's unique style of social commentary eventually went on to leave an indelible mark on the art world. She has become one of the most renowned, self-taught artists in the United States and is often referred to as the Black Grandma Moses. She was the first African-American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Delgado Museum (now the New Orleans Museum of Art) and achieved a significant amount of success during her lifetime, including an invitation to the White House from U.S. President Jimmy Carter (which she declined). Radcliffe College included Hunter in its “Black Women Oral History" project, published in 1980. Additionally, Northwestern State University of Louisiana granted her an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1986.
One of the more well-known displays of Hunter’s artwork is located in the African House on the grounds of Melrose Plantation. It's upstairs walls are covered in an elaborate mural that depicts the incredible stories of life on the Cane River. We encourage you to visit Melrose Plantation to see Clementine’s art, including the African House murals."
Proudly presented by Guy Lyman Fine Art, New Orleans, with our firm guarantee.