Bill Traylor (circa 1853-1949)
Bill Traylor (circa 1853-1949)

Red Man on Blue Horse with Dog, 1939-1942

Bill Traylor (circa 1853-1949)
Red Man on Blue Horse with Dog, 1939-1942
bears label H-20 Horse-Man, Red, White, Blue on reverse
tempera and graphite on repurposed card
22 1/8 x 14 ¼ in.
Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York
William Louis-Dreyfus, Mount Kisco, New York, 1991 (acquired from the above)
Acquired by the Louis-Dreyfus Family Collections by inheritance from the above in 2016 
Leslie Umberger, Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor (Princeton, New Jersey, 2018), p. 280.
Washington, D.C., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor, 28 September 2018 - 7 April 2019.

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Cara Zimmerman
Cara Zimmerman

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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 (New York, 1997).

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