Our cover this month, Midnight Poet at 125th Street & Lenox (54 in. by 42 in.) by Wadsworth Jarrell sold for $25,000 at Swann Auction Galleries’ African-American Fine Art sale in New York City on Oct. 5, 2017. Jarrell was one of the founding members of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists (AfriCOBRA) and a leading figure in the Black Arts movement.
Jarrell’s style has frequently changed throughout his career but continues to reflect his commitment to celebrate African-American culture. His study of African art and the Senufo people, along with a visit to Lagos, Nigeria, became a major influence on his work during the mid-1970s, as seen in the painting at hand. Created in 1979, it features human figures blended with Senufo sculptures, as well as other African imagery, such as lizards and zigzag patterns. The street scene style and bright “coolade” colors of the painting are also symbolic of the AfriCOBRA movement. Jarrell was also inspired by a later stint in Italy as a professor for the University of Georgia’s Studies Abroad Program in 1986. He currently resides with his wife in Cleveland, where he continues to explore the contemporary African-American experience in his art.
Much like the well-traveled Jarrell, many clients today are world citizens. The International Practice Committee Report in this issue provides estate planners with some insight on inheritance tax issues that clients with worldwide assets or other foreign ties might face.