In Plain Sight: Bill Traylor's Work in Context — A Lecture by Jeffrey Wolf
When: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24
Where: The Frist
"It is the goal of Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts to continue to put the work of this master in the context of his world, and to do it before that world completely vanishes."
I’ve often made the point that a vague work of art is not the same as a piece that conjures genuine mystery. In the Frist’s exhibition of Bill Traylor’s drawings, an air of spooky-odd mystery abounds. Traylor’s renderings of rural people and animals clearly connect to his life as a farmer. But when you consider that Traylor was an illiterate man who was born into slavery, the artworks’ modernist stylizing seems to appear out of nowhere.
Traylor’s scenes of frantic groups of people engaged in completely baffling activities are among the most bizarre works the Frist has shown, during a programming year that’s already filled with bizarre displays. Filmmaker Jeffrey Wolf recently finished a bio-doc on Traylor called Chasing Ghosts, and his free lecture and gallery talk tonight aims to shed some light on this sometimes befuddling, always beautiful show.