ON RECTO. Artist's "signature" is his name added to several businesses depicted in image: ware house No. 1 / Vernon I. Jirgins Co. / Founded 1923 + ON VERSO. written on original brown paper backing on frame: Property of J. Colboth
Gift of the Daniel and Harriet Fusfeld Folk Art Collection, 2002/1.191
The son of a Native American medicine woman, Jimmy Lee Sudduth spent his childhood combing the woods for plants and herbs with his mother. At some point in their sojourns, the young Sudduth began to paint with mud on tree trunks. Decades later, Sudduth returned to his mud painting and discovered that mud would remain permanently on surfaces if combined with a form of sugar—what Sudduth came to call “sweet mud”—which Sudduth could mix in 36 different shades. By the 1980s, Sudduth also added latex and craft paints to his work, at the behest of collectors concerned with the long-term preservation of his works. Sudduth always painted with his fingers rather than a brush because, as he said, his fingers “don’t wear out.”
(Out of the Ordinary, 2010)
Jimmie Lee Sudduth perfected what has now been coined "sweet mud" painting. This mixture of mud and sugar water is the medium with which he paints. Other natural elements can be added to this mixture to create different pigments, for example grass and wild berries. The abundance of natural elements available gives Sudduth an unlimited supply of pigment choices. Among his peers Sudduth is thought of as the founding father of Alabama mud painting.
Sudduth grew up on a farm in Alabama, which is where most of his inspiration originates. Familiar people and places from the surrounding community were often used as subject matter. One such person could be Baby, most likely the image of someone he knew or with whom he came in contact. Sudduth grew up during hard times and being a black uneducated man in the South provided many challenges. Painting with a homemade mixture helped to fill his creative urges as well as his dream, which was as he stated "I'm gonna be fay-mous, fay-mous! I didn't learn much in school, just learned to write my name--Jim. But I believe I'd rather be famous, than rich or smart. I leave the drips so people know it's mine." Sudduth obtained his goal not only through his work but also with his unique "sweet mud" technique.
Modern and Contemporary Intern
ON RECTO. Signed in black paint, bottom center: Jim Suddth + ON VERSO. Inscribed in blue ink on white label, affixed top center: 876 Jimmy Lee Sudduth / UNTITLED PAINTED FRAME with figure / mud/paint on wood + Inscribed in blue ink on small white label, top center: I 54
Gifts of the Daniel and Harriet Fusfeld Folk Art Collection, 2002/1.192 and 1.193
Mose Tolliver began painting with house paints after a work accident left him with long hours to spend at home. After years of selling paintings from his front yard, he was eventually “discovered” when he participated in the 1982 Corcoran Gallery of Art exhibition Black Folk Art in America, 1930–1980 in Washington, DC.
Mose’s daughter Annie started painting to help her father when he became so popular that he couldn’t paint fast enough. She now paints independently, in a more detailed style than her father.
(Out of the Ordinary, 2010)
One of the most prolific self-taught artists, Mose Tollivar began painting after becoming disabled in a work-related accident during the late 1960s. Unable to continue his previous line of work, Tollivar was encouraged to start painting by his former employer. At first, he sold his artwork from the yard of his Montgomery, Alabama home, but within a few years his work was part of the Corcoran Gallery’s exhibition Black Folk Art in America.
Tollivar’s work is characterized by flat, simple images of people and animals, which are usually depicted in an unconventional manner. In Self-Portrait, Tollivar represents himself standing without the use of crutches or a walker. His face and hair contain shades of yellow, and his legs are disproportionately longer than his torso. Because Mose Tollivar includes a great deal of personal iconography in his work, the artists’ sturdy, supportive legs could symbolize how his injured legs have facilitated and supported his successful artistic career. They could also represent the artist as he was before his accident or how he hopes he will be again one day.
Modern and Contemporary Art Intern
ON RECTO. Signed in black paint, bottom left corner: MOSET [the "S" is painted in reverse] + ON VERSO. Inscribed in black marker, center top: SELF PORTRAIT + Lumber stamps appear, bottom center to bottom right + Inscribed in black ink on white label, top center: I66
Born in Sumter, South Carolina, Inez Nathaniel Walker eventually moved to Port Byron, New York, working as a migrant farm worker for most of her life. In 1970, she was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide sent to Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, where she began to draw. After being released, Walker returned to Port Byron.
During her career, Walker primarily painted portraits of women. In most of her work, she is not concerned with the use of realistic colors or body proportions. Man in Profile, a rare subject for Walker, depicts the subject with an unrealistic frontal eye and finely detailed hair and clothing. Typical of her work, however, the background mimics an element on the man’s clothing, his buttons.
Studied at University of Illinois-Chicago ( B.F.A., 1963) and University of Michigan (M.F.A., 1965). Moved to NYC, 1968. Taught at City College, NYC,1988-1996. Solo show at Whitney Museum of American Art, 1969. Died at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NYC, of complications of lung cancer.
Jean Metzinger has been called the "other Cubist," as he was the most popular and prolific Cubist painter after Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), Georges Braque (1882–1963) and Juan Gris (1887–1927). Metzinger became a major theoretician for Cubist painting, a style which compresses the picture space into a shallow field cluttered with multifaceted, overlapping planes. In 1912, he co-wrote the landmark study of Cubism with Albert Gleizes (1881–1953); he also exhibited in most of the important Cubist exhibitions, such as the Salon des Indépendents and the Salon d’Automne of 1910. (A. Dixon, 20th Century Gallery installation, June 1999)