Friday, February 10, 2012

life, real and imagined

Figures and Construction with Blue Border c. 1941 : Bill Traylor

Man with a Plow c.1939-42: Bill Traylor

I visited the American Folk Art Museum today for the first time. They’re celebrating their 50th year and a new location. It’s a beautiful little museum, only three galleries, on Columbus Ave & 66th St in Manhattan. Seems a fitting size to intimately view the deeply personal art displayed. The museum honors artists who were and are creating outside of the traditional art school or accepted mainstream art world. The current exhibit is Jubilation|Rumination: Life, Real and Imagined. 

My favorite works were by Bill Traylor. He was born into slavery in 1852 and spent most of his life on a plantation in Benton, Alabama, where he remained even after emancipation. At the age of eighty-four he moved to Montgomery and started creating drawings with found materials. In the course of three years he produced almost 1,500 works reflecting his life experiences. 

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