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BILL TRAYLOR (CIRCA 1853-1949)
PROPERTY FROM THE WILLIAM LOUIS-DREYFUS FOUNDATION
BILL TRAYLOR (CIRCA 1853-1949)

Red-Eyed Man Smoking, 1939-1942

Details
BILL TRAYLOR (CIRCA 1853-1949) Red-Eyed Man Smoking, 1939-1942 tempera and graphite on repurposed card 13 ¼ x 8 ¾ in.
Provenance
Hirschl and Adler Modern, New York
William Louis-Dreyfus, Mount Kisco, New York, 1996 (acquired from the above)
The William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation, Mount Kisco, New York, 2013 (gifted from the above)
Literature
Ricco Maresca Gallery, Bill Traylor: Observing Life (Ricco Maresca, 1997), no. 33.
Josef Helfenstein and Roman Kurzmeyer, eds., Deep Blues: Bill Traylor 1854-1949 (Yale University Press, 1999), no. 25.
Leslie Umberger, Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor (Princeton, New Jersey, 2018), p. 318.
Exhibited
Bern, Switzerland, Kunstmuseum Bern and Cologne, Germany, Museum Ludwig, Deep Blues: Bill Traylor 1854-1949, 4 November 1998 - 31 January 1999 (Bern) and 26 February - 16 May 1999 (Cologne).

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Cara Zimmerman
Cara Zimmerman Outsider Art

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Lot Essay

Bill Traylor was an American prodigy... The subjects of his drawings illustrate his life just as the manner of his pencil stroke reflects his untaught circumstance. Yet his drawings show an unerring ability to invent complex and harmonious compositions and to make brilliant use of negative space. Contrasted to what appears to be ignorance of perspective and shading is a highly sophisticated and original approach to shape, geometric design and abstract form. His approach to the page, to the old cardboard surfaces he found and his incorporation of scratches, discoloration, tears and irregular shapes of his boards reveal a compositional master at work.
- William Louis-Dreyfus, excerpted from Bill Traylor: Observing Life.

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