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Helen La France (American/Kentucky, 1919-2020) oil on canvasboard panoramic painting depicting an African village, with human and animal figures bustling among various tents under palm trees, with foliage in the foreground. Signed lower right. Housed in a molded giltwood frame with green mat. Sight: 23" H x 47" W. Framed: 28" H x 52" W. Biography: "Self-taught African American artist Helen LaFrance was born on a Kentucky farm and began painting in her 40s. She is known for her "memory paintings", drawn from her recollections of life growing up in the rural South. Several museums and private collectors, including Oprah Winfrey, own examples of her work." (Source: "Helen LaFrance Folk Art Memories" by Kathy Moses). Helen Lafrance died November 22, 2020, in a Mayfield, Kentucky nursing home at the age of 101. Note: while most of La France's paintings depicted scenes from her own life, this painting seems to present a rare, imagined view of the land of her ancestors. It was acquired by the consignor directly from the artist, who was a personal friend, and appears to be one of LaFrance's early works.
CONDITION: Some scattered brown lines and spots, possible inclusions, mostly in sky area; possible 1/2" tear or scratch at lower center above tent; 6" scratch across figures lower left quadrant; areas of fine craquelure to black paint; 1/2" area of flaking lower left corner; scattered small marks and smudges; some grime.