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Benny Andrews Art

American, 1930-2006

Using an innovative technique he called “rough collage,” Benny Andrews created vivid portraits of everyday people that mixed painting with pieces of clothing and other textural materials.

Andrews grew up in a family of sharecroppers in rural Georgia, his creativity nurtured by his father, who was a self-taught artist, and his mother, who believed in the importance of education. He was the first in his family to complete high school and attended Fort Valley State College on a 4-H Club scholarship. Andrews was limited by the lack of art courses available to him at Fort Valley, and in 1950 he enlisted in the Air Force and served in the Korean War. On the G.I. Bill, he studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). While fellow students focused on Abstract Expressionism, Andrews developed his own expressive style; one of his earliest portraits was of the janitors at SAIC. After he graduated in 1958, he moved to New York. ​​Andrews’s first solo show was in 1960 at Paul Kessler Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Visibility and social justice were at the forefront of Benny Andrews’s paintings, which meditated on scenes of daily life, drawing on memories of the artist’s childhood in the South. His subjects included his family members as well as other artists, such as Alice Neel, Norman Lewis and Howardena Pindell.

A longtime educator, including for three decades at New York’s Queens College, Andrews avidly promoted opportunities for Black artists, such as cofounding with Clifford R. Joseph the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition in 1969, which advocated for inclusion in museum exhibitions. One of his final works —completed between 2004 and 2006 — was the Migrant Series in which he retraced the forced relocation of Indigenous people on the Trail of Tears, the Dust Bowl migration and the displacement of Hurricane Katrina survivors.

Andrews’s work has continued to garner acclaim after his death in 2006, with posthumous exhibitions including “Benny Andrews: Portraits, a Real Person Before the Eyes” at Michael Rosenfeld Gallery in New York in 2020.

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Artist: Benny Andrews
Black Bird
By Benny Andrews
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Benny Andrews, American (1930 - 2006) Title: Black Bird Year: 1980 Medium: Lithograph on Cream BFK Rives Paper, signed, titled and numbered in pencil Edition: 275 Paper Size:...
Category

1980s Expressionist Benny Andrews Art

Materials

Lithograph

Moving On
By Benny Andrews
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Benny Andrews, American (1930 - 2006) Title: Moving On Year: 1980 Medium: Lithograph on BFK Rives, signed, titled and numbered in pencil Edition: 275 Size: 30 in. x 22 in. (...
Category

1980s Expressionist Benny Andrews Art

Materials

Lithograph

Turtle Dove
By Benny Andrews
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Benny Andrews, American (1930 - 2006) Title: Turtle Dove Year: 1980 Medium: Lithograph on BFK Rives, signed and numbered in pencil Edition: 275 Paper Size: 30 x 22 inches
Category

1980s Expressionist Benny Andrews Art

Materials

Lithograph

Black Bird
By Benny Andrews
Located in New York, NY
Benny Andrews (American, 1930-2006) "Black Bird", Abstract Lithograph signed in rear of Print, 30 x 22.25, Late 20th Century, 1980 Colors: Black, Grey, White, Green, Red, Orange, Ye...
Category

1980s Abstract Benny Andrews Art

Materials

Lithograph

Glider
By Benny Andrews
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Benny Andrews, American (1930 - 2006) Title: Glider Year: 1980 Medium: Lithograph on Arches Paper, signed and numbered in pencil Edition: 275 Size: 30 in. x 22 in. (76.2 cm ...
Category

1980s Expressionist Benny Andrews Art

Materials

Lithograph

NEW YORK CAFE
By Benny Andrews
Located in Portland, ME
Andrews, Benny (American, 1930-2006). NEW YORK CAFE. Lithograph, 1966. Associated American Artists edition of 250, signed, titled and numbered in pencil. 10 3/8 x 14 1/4 inches. I...
Category

Benny Andrews Art

Materials

Lithograph

Woman with Flowers
By Benny Andrews
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Benny Andrews, American (1930 - 2006) Title: Woman with Flowers Year: 1976 Medium: Oil and Collage on Canvas, signed and dated l.r. (and verso) Size: 38 x 36 inches
Category

1970s Contemporary Benny Andrews Art

Materials

Canvas, Oil

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Benny Andrews art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Benny Andrews art for sale. If you are looking for art to add a pop of color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of orange and other colors. You can also browse art by Benny Andrews in lithograph, canvas, fabric and more by medium. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the Expressionist style. Not every interior allows for large Benny Andrews art, so small editions measuring 16 inches across are available. Customers interested in this artist might also find the work of Bernard Aptekar, Carole Bolsey and Ruth Grotenrath. Benny Andrews art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $850 and tops out at $1,200, while the average work can sell for $900.

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Questions About Benny Andrews Art
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Benny Andrews was from Plainview, Georgia. He received his formal artistic training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, and then moved to New York, New York, in 1958. Andrews died on November 10, 2006 in Brooklyn, New York. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of Benny Andrews art.

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