Figure playing pool, signed lower right: Ernie Barnes, oil on canvas, 23.5'' H x 48'' W, est: $15,000/20,000 Note: Together with the book ''Ernie Barnes / Artist'' personally inscribed to Carroll and Nancy O'Connor by the artist. Ernie Barnes found success in both football and art and brought the athletic movement and expression he experienced on the football field into his figurative, genre and sports paintings. An important African-American artist originally from Durham, North Carolina but most closely associated with his art career in Los Angeles, Barnes? work is often linked to Black Romanticism and Neo-Mannerist movements but ultimately stands on its own creatively. Barnes attended North Carolina Central University on a football scholarship and received his degree in art working under and heavily influenced by sculpting professor Ed Wilson who encouraged Barnes to paint his own culture and experiences. He was an offensive lineman for teams in the American Football League from 1959-1966 before retiring to focus on art full time. African-American lifestyle and genre scenes, often set in taverns dominated by billiards tables such as in the present work, are perhaps Barnes? most beloved subjects. The present work depicts a single man preparing for a shot in the midst of a game of pool. Typical of Barnes? style, the figure?s musculature is visible beneath his jeans and open white shirt and everything in the composition has movement: the figure?s stance, the unexpected angles and modeled texture of the walls, ceiling, floor and room objects, the focused light and shadows created by multiple light sources. The composition includes a poster advertising shows by James Brown and Lou Rawls further emphasizing Ernie Barnes? focus on African-American cultural references. Provenance: Estate of Carroll and Nancy O'Connor, Brentwood, CA
Visual: Generally good condition. A few scattered spots of paint splatter. Blacklight: A 3'' line of restoration to repair a tear in the canvas upper center with corresponding patch verso. Scattered spots and drips fluoresce white under blacklight.