Hale Woodruff was born in Illinois, grew up in Tennessee and studied at several institutions in Indiana, Massachusetts, Chicago and Paris. Woodruff’s move to New York in 1946 represented a major shift in the artist’s career. While teaching at New York University, he became involved with the Abstract Expressionist scene and transitioned his style from figural and landscape art to abstract imagery inspired by African art, as seen in Celestial Gate. Together with artists Romare Bearden and Norman Lewis, Woodruff joined Spiral, the seminal collective of African American artists that formed in response to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Title: Celestial Gate
Artist: Hale Woodruff (1900 – 1980)
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 46 3/8 x 34 3/8 inches
Accession Number: H77.78
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