PIERCE, Elijah - YOUNG, Mahonri Sharp.

Elijah Pierce Woodcarver.

Columbus, OH: Columbus Gallery of Fine Art, 1973 Stock Code: 142515
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The catalogue for Elijah Pierce's 1973 exhibition at the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, his first major show, the commentary largely composed from Pierce's own words, edited from taped interviews with Carolyn Jones, 1972-3. Pierce is now widely considered one of the great American outsider artists. Signed by Pierce with his address on the title page: his autograph is genuinely uncommon.

The son of freed slaves, Pierce was born on a farm in Mississippi in 1892, he took to barbering to escape farm labour. Settling in Ohio in the 1920s, he eventually set up his own barbershop, and became a Baptist preacher. Pierce had taken to woodcarving when given his first pocket-knife as a child, and was encouraged in it by his maternal uncle, in the 20s and 30s he began to make three dimensional animal carvings that he decorated and either gave away or sold, before graduating to the creation of bas-relief narratives, largely on religious or moral themes, giving "sacred art demonstrations" with his wife. Highly appreciated in his neighbourhood, his work was spotted at a local YMCA exhibition by an OSU graduate and sculptor Boris Gruenwald, who was determined establish him as a recognised artist and was instrumental in organising the CGFA show, and securing his exposure in high profile galley shows both in the USA and worldwide.

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Quarto. 16-pages. Wire-stitched in the original colour-printed pictorial wrappers.


Illustrated throughout in black and white.


A little light wear, overall very good.


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