29 Mar 2023

Beauford Delaney: Metamorphosis into Freedom

Stephen Wicks
Paris, France
The École des modernités At the Institut Giacometti

This lecture will focus on the career of Beauford Delaney, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1901. This now internationally renowned African-American artist studied in Boston before moving to New York then France. The conference will focus on his studio practice during and after his move to France. For it was in his studio in the Paris suburbs that the writer James Baldwin, his long-time friend, observed a profound change in Delaney's art. It was a period of rich artistic production, during which he became a master of abstract expressionism and participated in numerous exhibitions.

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Stephen C. Wicks is the Barbara W. and Bernard E Bernstein curator of the Knoxville Museum of Art, and has guided the KMA's curatorial department for more than twenty-five years. He manages the museum's exhibition program and oversees the development of its collections of East Tennessee-related art and international contemporary art. Wicks was instrumental in helping the KMA build the world’s largest and most comprehensive public collection of Knoxville-born painter Beauford Delaney’s works of art.

He has organized dozens of exhibitions, including: "Beauford Delaney and James Baldwin: Through the Unusual Door"; "Higher Ground: A Century of the Visual Arts in East Tennessee," the first ongoing display devoted to East Tennessee’s art history; "Awakening the Spirits," the first-ever retrospective devoted to the work of Bessie Harvey; "Facets of Modern and Contemporary Glass," which examined the expanding use of glass as a contemporary art material; "Lift: Contemporary Printmaking in the Third Dimension," and "New Directions in American Drawing". 

He previously served as Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Columbus Museum (Georgia), and is active as a guest curator, juror, lecturer and writer. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Tennessee, his Master of Arts in Art History and Museum Studies from Case Western Reserve University, and was awarded back-to-back Cleveland Museum of Art Fellowships.

Wednesday, March 29, 6.30 pm live on Zoom.

Lecture in English, by Stephen Wicks.



Beauford Delaney: Metamorphosis into Freedom

To search for a work, consult the Alberto Giacometti Database