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Untitled (Standing Woman)

Sargent Claude Johnson

American Art

This terracotta figure of a woman was created by the San Francisco–based African American artist Sargent Johnson in the 1930s, when black artists were deriving powerful inspiration from the New Negro Movement and its leader Alain Locke. Locke’s particular encouragement of art that celebrated black physical types and African ancestral traditions led Johnson to refer to African sculpture in the masklike form of the face. Employing a modernist reduction of form in the simplified, cylindrical body, Johnson created a work that exudes a quiet gravity and power. At midcentury, Abstract Expressionist artists including Adolph Gottlieb (whose work hangs to the right) used African-inspired forms to achieve similar effects.
MEDIUM Terra cotta, painted pale tan
DATES ca. 1933-1935
DIMENSIONS 14 1/4 x 4 x 3 1/2 in. (36.2 x 10.2 x 8.9 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Estate of Emil Fuchs and Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Steinhauer, by exchange, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, and Mary Smith Dorward Fund
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CAPTION Sargent Claude Johnson (American, 1888-1967). Untitled (Standing Woman), ca. 1933-1935. Terra cotta, painted pale tan, 14 1/4 x 4 x 3 1/2 in. (36.2 x 10.2 x 8.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Estate of Emil Fuchs and Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Steinhauer, by exchange, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, and Mary Smith Dorward Fund, 2010.2 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2010.2_front_PS6.jpg)
IMAGE front, 2010.2_front_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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