Ronald Joseph (American, 20th Century) Paris Vista
Ronald Joseph (American, 20th Century)
Signed and titled "Ronald Joseph..." on the reverse, inscribed "...Return to Bob
Blackburn 44 East 21st" on the reverse.
Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 32 in. (100.3 x 81.2 cm), framed.
Condition: Retouch, craquelure.
N.B. Born in the British West Indies, Ronald Joseph moved to New York at the age of thirteen. Just seven years later, under the teaching of H.E. Fritz, Joseph was thought to be the most up-and-coming artist in the New York school system. During the 1930s, he studied printmaking along with Robert Blackburn under Riva Helfond at the Harlem Art Center, where Joseph later taught. He worked in the mural section of the WPA and was a representative of the Harlem Artists' Guild to the New York World's Fair (1939-1940). By 1943, prominent art critic James Porter considered him the "foremost Negro abstractionist painter" in New York. His work, inspired by Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris, was featured in a Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition during a time when most New York artists focused their efforts on social problems through a realist depiction.
Robert Blackburn founded the Printmaking Workshop in New York in 1948. In 1949, Blackburn was named the Master Printer by the National Academy of Design. Shortly after, Joseph moved to Belgium where his work flourished and he experienced extreme success. In 1989 he returned to the United States to speak at a discussion called "Black Printmakers and the WPA," where he reunited with Blackburn and received many accolades. The Library of Congress recently put together an exhibition of Blackburn's work as well as highlights from his own personal collection, including works by Ronald Joseph.