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Image of Figures, Construction

Bill Traylor
American, 1853–1949

Figures, Construction

about 1940–1942

Object Type: Drawing
Creation Place: North America, American, Alabama
Dimensions:
12 11/16 in. x 11 5/8 in. (32.23 cm x 29.53 cm)
Medium and Support: Watercolor and graphite on cardboard
Accession Number: 1982.0004.0016

Credit Line: Gift of Charles and Eugenia Shannon


Bill Traylor's typical subjects were drawings of figures, animals, and works such as this one described as "constructions." In the "constructions" there are frequently narrative implications—here small figures scurry up and over an architectural form; three figures are engaged in a violent altercation on the lower left. On the right, a barking dog chases other figures up a ladder to a second level; across the top of the structure two figures appear ready to push a third off the opposite side.

The actual narrative in this case and in similar works is unknown; it is believed that Traylor may have based such compositions on memories of his past life in rural Alabama. The events and actions, however, are somewhat generic from drawing to drawing, with various forms of raucous behavior as the norm.

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