Born into slavery in circa 1852, Bill Traylor did not begin drawing until he was in his eighties while living essentially as a homeless man on the streets of Montgomery, Alabama. His drawings and paintings on cardboard were all executed during the brief period between 1939 and 1942. Like many of his contemporaries working during the Great Depression-Reginald Marsh, Ben Shahn and others--Traylor's imagery was taken from his immediate surroundings, as can be seen in Untitled (Couple Fighting), an animated scene and a classic, large drawing by the artist. This everyday scene is transformed through the artist's fertile imagination, flawless line and innate compositional sense to create a powerfully reductive work that is infused with the artist's distinctive and whimsical humor.
PROPERTY FROM THE ROBERT M. GREENBERG COLLECTION