What's the statue here?
This is a work by Beauford Delaney. That scupture is a reference to the Fang peoples of Cameroon.
It's a guardian figure that is thought to embody spiritual powers and connection to ancestors. Delaney himself was not from Africa but he was likely moved by a renewed interest in African culture spurred by the Harlem Renaissance. You might notice that the guardian figure, as well as the bird, has notes of black, red, green, and gold. These are references to the colors of the Pan-African flag.
This work has such interesting textures!
Absolutely! Delaney was interested in conveying emotion through color and brushstroke. This painting is so very different from earlier still life paintings in American art, which tried to show the objects as realistically as possible.
The sculpture in this painting is based on Fang reliquary figures. We have similar sculptures in our African Art collections here at the Museum.