Bill Traylor (1854-1949)
PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION
Bill Traylor (1854-1949)

Man With A Plow, 1939

Details
Bill Traylor (1854-1949)
Man With A Plow, 1939
dated by Charles Shannon July 1939 on verso
graphite on back of Granger Pipe Tobacco poster
14 3/4 x 19 3/4 in.
Provenance
The Mayor Gallery, London

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Man with a Plow, by celebrated self-taught artist Bill Traylor (1854-1949), is dated to July 1939, making it among the earlier recorded works by the artist. After a lifetime on a plantation, former slave Traylor moved to Montgomery, Alabama, and began to draw. In the spring or summer of 1939, Traylor met artist Charles Shannon, who began to provide Traylor with artmaking materials and preserve the older artist's drawings.

Traylor drew on found or repurposed cardboard. Man with a Plow is rendered on the reverse of a tobacco poster, the punctures in the card indicators of where the advertisement was adhered to a wall or billboard. Here, the artist erased and reworked; he considered the positioning of the plow in relation to the mule. This drawing reveals the hallmarks of Traylor’s graphic, geometric images, and the surface of the card also tells a rich and layered story of how the artist approached his early compositions.

More from Liberation through Expression: Outsider and Vernacular Art

View All
View All