New York

Leroy Person

Luise Ross Gallery

The work of self-taught artist Leroy Person (1907–85) has largely escaped the pull of the burgeoning folk/outsider market during the last two decades. Person’s minor-key sensibility may set him apart from the heavy-handed expressionism favored by institutions in that field, but his furniture constructions, carved sculpture, and crayon drawings occupy a powerful position within the margin even as they fruitfully challenge its borders. Comprising thirty-three works, Person’s recent solo debut provided a modest yet effective retrospective.

Person’s intensely private, spiritual vision defies easy categorization, although the context for his creative output can be identified as a rich constellation of Afro-Atlantic vernacular traditions ranging from quiltmaking to yard decorations. He labored in the sawmills of northeastern North Carolina until, at age sixty-three, he experienced a “divine

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the May 2000 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.