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BILL TRAYLOR (CIRCA 1853-1949)
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF JERRY AND SUSAN LAUREN
BILL TRAYLOR (CIRCA 1853-1949)

Two Dogs Fighting; Man Chasing Dog, 1939-1942

Details
BILL TRAYLOR (CIRCA 1853-1949)
Two Dogs Fighting; Man Chasing Dog, 1939-1942
signed 'Bill Traylor' lower left
tempera, graphite and colored pencils on white paper-faced card
18 x 25 ¾ in.
Provenance
Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York
Gael and Michael Mendelsohn, New York, 1992 (acquired from the above)
Giampietro Gallery, New Haven
Acquired from the above in 2004
Literature
Gael and Michael Mendelsohn, The Intuitive Eye: The Mendelsohn Collection (Fotofolio, 2000), p. 70.
Valerie Rousseau and Debra Purden, Bill Traylor (5 Continents Editions, 2018), p. 39.
Exhibited
New York, American Folk Art Museum, Traylor in Motion: Wonders from New York Collections, 11 June - 22 September 2013.

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Cara Zimmerman
Cara Zimmerman Outsider Art

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Lot Essay

Two Dogs Fighting is a large, exceptional work, revealing the artist’s mastery over space, his subject matter and his media. The energetic unevenness of the repurposed card is highlighted by the active rearing dogs and kicking man, and Traylor masterfully positions the red dog's head to acknowledge and engage the uppermost arced area of the card, making the surface itself an integral part of the composition. The drawing includes elements in tempera, colored pencil and graphite, showing the diversity of Traylor's markmaking in a manner not usually evident in a single work. His bright, bold dogs command the foreground, while the man and dog in the lower right read as background figures both through scale and the cooler, more transulcent tones employed. This sophisticated play between placement and rendering style and application speaks to the artist's skill in harnessing his marks to create nuanced narratives.
Traylor’s signature, rarely included in his works, is embedded in the central section of the image, situating the artist actively amidst his subjects.
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