Image courtesy of the David Zwirner Gallery.

Free admission (all visitors, all hours)

Born into slavery and illiterate all of his life, Bill Traylor worked on the Traylor plantation in Benton, Alabama, for over 70 years and then for a year in a Montgomery shoe factory until rheumatism prevented him from continuing. At age 84, Traylor began to draw, working on discarded cardboard with a small straight stick, a pencil and castoff poster paint. In just over three years, he produced an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 works, some of which are marked with the artist’s painstaking efforts to learn to write his own name. William Louis-Dreyfus first encountered Bill Traylor’s work through Frank Maresca in the 1980s, eventually acquiring over 100 works. This new exhibition of 40 drawings from his collection presents multiple examples of the artist’s original vision and aesthetic expression.

Traylor’s work at the Museum of Modern Art.