Richard Mayhew - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Wednesday, November 16, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "I actually use landscape image as a metaphor for the feeling of time and illusion."
    —Richard Mayhew

    Vibrant and elusive, subtle yet poignant, Richard Mayhew’s landscapes—or “mindscapes” as he calls them—are about much more than what meets the eye. Born in 1924 in Amityville, New York on Long Island, Richard Mayhew became inspired by nature at a young age and continues to be today at his home in Santa Cruz at age 98. Rather than depict landscapes as they are, he chooses to focus on how they make him feel. They are meant to elicit an emotional response. “What I do with landscapes is internalize my emotional interpretation of desire, hope, fear, and love. So, instead of a landscape, it’s a mindscape.”i

     

    Mayhew is of African American and Native American descent. His grandmother, a member of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, was a major inspiration to him in his artmaking. Of his paintings he says, “I’m painting the treaty land that was never honored for Native Americans.”ii In white artists’ interpretations of landscape, particularly those in the 19th century, Native Americans and slaves were seldom depicted, and if they were, it was often in shadow. Mayhew felt that this “omission” suggested that as a person of color, “you don’t exist.”iii In this way, Mayhew’s saturated vistas are not just a celebration of nature’s beauty, but also a means of reclaiming the land taken from his ancestors—whether by white slave owners on southern plantations, or Europeans in the colonial era. “My mindscapes are also about the healing of the long trauma that Black and native communities have experienced collectively.”iv

     

    Such contributions to the canon of art history are often overlooked. In 1963, Mayhew joined the artist’s collective Spiral alongside founders Norman Lewis and Romare Bearden, but in the Broad, Los Angeles’ 2019 exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, his were the only works not featured in the room dedicated to the Spiral artists. Today, his work is finally getting the due recognition it deserves. In 2020, ACA Galleries in New York, who began representing the artist in the mid-1990s, mounted a solo exhibition of Mayhew's work in conjunction with the release of the first monograph published.

     

     

    i Richard Mayhew, quoted in Julie Schneider, ”At 96 Years Old, Richard Mayhew Is Still Painting Transportive “Mindscapes,” Hyperallergic, September 21, 2020, online
    ii Richard Mayhew, quoted in Janet Berry Hess, The Art of Richard Mayhew, Jefferson, 2014, p. 72.
    iii Ibid, p. 70.
    iv Richard Mayhew, quoted in Julie Schneider, ”At 96 Years Old, Richard Mayhew Is Still Painting Transportive “Mindscapes,” Hyperallergic, September 21, 2020, online

    • Provenance

      Sherry Washington Gallery, Detroit
      Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2009

Property from the Daniel Texidor Parker Collection

102

Guardian

signed "Mayhew" lower right
oil on canvas
48 1/4 x 40 in. (122.6 x 101.6 cm)
Painted in 1999.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $252,000

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 November 2022