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Lafayette: circa 1981-83. Oil on canvas, measuring 36 x 48 inches. Brown wood beveled frame. Colorful image of four band members mid-note--bass, violin, banjo, and horn--with a free-flowing geometricity evoking cubism. William Tolliver (1951-2000) was a brilliant self-taught, Mississippi-born artist. He arose during the mid-1980's as a brilliant regional talent, an individual impelled by a desire to capture the landscapes and peoples of his native deep South. Whether dealing with everyday workers or back-alley jazzmen, he conveys a universal message through the common human experience. He was born in Vicksburg. His mother worked in the cotton fields by day, but also raised 14 children. To stimulate their interest in learning, she often challenged William and his older brother to drawing contests. Discovering William’s talent, she borrowed art books from the library that exposed her son to the works of the European masters. At age 14, Tolliver dropped out of school and left Mississippi to join the Job Corps program in Los Angeles. During his year-and-a-half stint with Job Corps, he studied carpentry at a government-sponsored trade school. Assisted by an instructor at the trade school who was also a visual artist, Tolliver received additional instruction and information about the techniques of painting. He married in 1977 and, in 1981, he moved his family to Lafayette, Louisiana, where an oil boom had created employment opportunities in the construction trades. In Lafayette, he worked as a wallpaper hanger and a house painter. Two years later, however, the city’s building industry fell into decline, leaving Tolliver unemployed. Laid off from his job and without income, he set out to relax in his free hours by painting with his daughters paint kit. Tolliver soon began to paint in a new and unique style that has been termed "representational abstract expressionism." Able to work in numerous mediums- oil, acrylic, watercolor, oil pastel, and dimensional reliefs- Tolliver was forever exploring new techniques.Critically ranked with such famous African American artists as Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, Tolliver soon gained the reputation as one of America’s most renowned contemporary artists. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions in the field of art. He also produced the poster for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the city where he finally settled. (Source: Contemporary Black Biography, Volume 9, Gale Research, 1995.). ORIGINAL ART.
Item #53059       Price: $35,000.00   Ask a Question
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