Alvin Carl Hollingsworth (American, 1928-2000), "Jazz," oil on board, – Lofty Marketplace
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Alvin Carl Hollingsworth (American, 1928-2000), "Jazz," oil on board, signed, 20th century

Alvin Carl Hollingsworth (American, 1928-2000), "Jazz," oil on board, signed, 20th century

Item Description:

Signed at lower left "A.C.Hollingsworth", titled lower right "Jazz", framed


Appears fine. Please contact for specific condition questions. Not examined out of the frame. Lofty does not guarantee the condition or authenticity of frames.


Private collection


Sight: Height 24 in. x Width 18 in.

Frame: Height 28.5 in. x Width 23 in.

About The Artist:

Alvin Carl Hollingsworth was a well-known artist, comic book illustrator, lecturer, and poet who lived and worked in New York City. Hollingsworth was born in New York City in 1928 and began to draw at an early age. He attended the High School of Music and Art and was classmates with Joe Kubert, who would also become a notable comic book illustrator. Later, Hollingsworth would graduate from the City College of New York with a degree in the fine arts.

Hollingsworth started his career at only twelve years old, when he was hired as an artist assistant at Holyoke Publishing Company. At Holyoke Publishing, Hollingsworth learned about the illustration business during the Golden Age of Comics and worked alongside the artists of the Cat-Man comic series. The Golden Age of Comics began after the inception of the Superman comic series in 1938. Superhero comics, their characters with secret identities and powers, were very prolific. Western, crime, and science fiction comics were also popular. During World War II, comic book stories fell in line with the patriotic sentiment of the era and served as inexpensive and inspirational entertainment. The Golden Age continued up until the end of World War II. After one year with Holyoke Publishing, Hollingsworth did illustrations for crime comics, though his work went uncredited which was customary practice at this time. Through the 1940s and 1950s, Hollingsworth continued to draw for various comic book publishers in a variety of comic genres. Hollingsworth's work was nationally syndicated by more than 100 newspapers by 1953.

In 1955, Hollingsworth decided to become a fine artist and his paintings and collages were exhibited at various group shows at institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in Massachusetts. In 1963, Hollingsworth and a group of 13 African American artists formed a group called Spiral, which assembled to address Civil Rights issues through art. The Spiral Movement's name symbolized upward progress and movement. Though short lived, the group's success culminated in an acclaimed 1965 exhibition in New York City. Hollingsworth's work, like his Prophet Series, was informed by the Civil Rights Movement and issues in African American contemporary culture. The Prophet Series drew on the statuses of icons such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Portraying Christ as black in the series was Hollingsworth's way of reflecting on the elevated statuses of these leaders as modern prophets.

Hollingsworth appealed to a large and diverse audience in 1970 as a host for the ten part NBC television series "You're Part of Art". Hollingsworth travelled the East Coast lecturing and painting for the series. He continued to teach others as a Professor of Art at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York from 1980 to 1998. A widely acclaimed artist, Hollingsworth is represented in many public and private collections such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York and the Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C.

Jazz is one of Hollingsworth's works that dealt with contemporary social issues in African American society. Jazz was invented within the African American communities in the early 20th century. A vibrant, abstract scene, Hollingsworth painted Jazz with the rhythm of the music. Recognizable instruments, a singer, and a saxophone player interrupt the light blue ground with their loosely painted forms. The free form rhythm in which each form appears is akin to the emerging bebop style of jazz which was fast paced and spontaneous. Hollingsworth's loose style was likely inspired by the Abstract Expressionism movement, which was characterized by gestural and expressive brushstrokes. The words "Blues" and "Jazz" appear in the composition, perhaps referencing the light up signs and marquees of the Jazz clubs in New York during the 1950s. The painting is believed to have been part of the exhibit "Jazz and the Feminine Mystique," at the Aaron Faber Gallery in 1995.


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