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Image of Rooster

Jimmy Lee Sudduth (aka Jimmie Lee Sudduth)
American, 1910–2007



Object Type: Painting
Creation Place: North America, American, Alabama
24 x 22 1/2 in. (61 x 57 cm)
Medium and Support: House paint, earth pigments, and graphite on plywood
Accession Number: 2005.0003

Credit Line: Gift of Robert Cargo Folk Art Gallery

Sudduth was a master of a very unusual medium—he mixed clays that he dug near his home in Fayette, Alabama with sugary liquids, creating a substance that he applied with fingers, sticks, and other implements. He was an ingenious individual who was savy with mechanical equipment, and he discovered he could create soft, thick areas of intense black by smoking his boards with lawnmower exhaust. At times he applied the clays as a dry, pastel-like substance, which created a strikingly different surface and image.

"Rooster" is an example of Sudduth's ability to create refined and sophisticated surface textures. The background has been loosely brushed with pigment and the figure of the rooster appears to float on this amorphous background. The twisted neck of the bird mirrors the curve of his tail, the feathers suggested by small strokes of varied colors of clay. The granular clays create a rich surface of various shades of red.

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