Deborah Roberts - New Now New York Tuesday, September 28, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Deborah Roberts investigates otherness by breaking down long-established and monolithic societal conceptions of beauty and belonging—art historical pop cultural, and psychological—and promoting in their place new standards of beauty and self-expression. Roberts, who lives and works in Austin, Texas, uses motifs of African American girlhood to emphasize identity and its dual abilities to empower and oppress. Her collages bring together imagery that highlights the implications of societal pressures and privilege that dominate mass media, presenting excluded and marginalized perspectives to fight against generalized and discriminatory perceptions of Black female experiences.


    Her abstractly figurative work speaks both to the universal and the specific: Roberts says “when you look at my work, you have to look at every part of the face and make something out of those fragments. That’s one of the gifts of the work—to see people differently, and not just as one being. Blackness is global."1 Roberts implores viewers to see the humanity—the vulnerability, the strength, and the beauty—in her subjects so that they can see humanity in themselves. The present work, Folding the Red into the Black, 2018/2021, is a unique, hand-embellished artist’s proof created by the artist specifically for this charity sale.

    Follow Deborah Roberts on Instagram.

    1 Amarie Gipson, “In Conversation with Deborah Roberts,” ARTS.BLACK, October 25, 2017, online

    • Description

      Please note that the seller will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this artwork’s sale to benefit Project Backboard. Project Backboard is a 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to strengthen communities, encourage multi-generational play, and inspire people to think more critically and creatively. The organization will use proceeds from the sale to develop a public basketball court in Haiti, and they intend to donate a portion of proceeds from the sale of this lot to earthquake relief efforts there.

    • Provenance

      Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      North Adams, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Still I Rise, June 15, 2019–March 15, 2020 (another example exhibited and illustrated on the cover)

THE CROSSOVER: Property Sold to Benefit Project Backboard


Folding the Red into the Black

signed, titled, numbered and dated "AP 6/10 Folding the red into the Black Deborah Roberts 21" along the lower edge
printed paper collage, gouache and digital print on paper
20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm)
Executed in 2018/21, this work is a unique hand-embellished artist's proof from an edition of 100 plus 10 artist's proofs.

Full Cataloguing

$6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for $13,860

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig

Head of New Now Sale

212 940 1279

New Now

New York Auction 28 September 2021