Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Premier Auction - Session II

Sat, Nov 12, 2022 09:00AM EST
Lot 662

Winfred Rembert

Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

(American/Georgia, 1945-2021)

Picking Cotton, inscribed bottom center "Winfred Rembert...REV", dye on carved and tooled leather, 28 x 27 in.; metal frame 29-1/4 x 27-3/4 in.

Note:

Born in rural Georgia, raised in a community tied to the cotton fields, Winfred Rembert survived a childhood of poverty in the segregated South of the 1940s. He would go on to be a nationally recognized artist, and his biography - Chasing Me to My Grave: An Artist's Memoir of the Jim Crow South - was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2022.

It was not a well paved path. In 1966, after a demonstration in Americus, Georgia, Rembert was arrested and put in jail without being charged. A year later, he escaped but was caught and hung up by a group of deputy sheriffs. They stuck him with a knife but did not kill and burn him as he had anticipated. He spent the next seven years in a chain gang. Remarkably, he met his wife while building roads and bridges in rural Georgia as part of his prison sentence. While in prison, a man named TJ taught him how to carve wallets out of leather, a skill that he would use decades later in his embossed leather paintings.

After his release, Rembert and Patsy married and they moved to New York, then Connecticut, where he worked a variety of jobs. Not until in his 50s after a second round in prison, did he begin to draw and paint the scenes of his youth, carving the stories into tactile leather canvases.

In 2000, Rembert had a well publicized show at the Yale University Art Gallery. In 2002, he was introduced to Peter Tillou after speaking about his artwork at a school in Waterbury, Connecticut. A short time later they agreed to a working relationship that included numerous exhibitions and his 2010 "coming out" show at Adelson Galleries in New York. His work has entered major museum and private collections.

Provenance: Purchased from Peter Tillou; Private Collection

Condition

excellent color, surface abrasions as made, laid down on foam core; frame with light wear