Nellie Mae Rowe

Rowe’s drawings teem with animals, recalling her rural upbringing on a farm in Fayetteville, Georgia. In this sheet, two human figures hover in a dreamlike space alongside some twenty animals, including birds, dogs, and snakes. Rowe’s use of the paper reserve creates a feeling of openness, even porousness, amid the density of her marks, which extend from edge to edge of the sheet. This almost gestational space is indeterminate, enhancing the sense that the figures are all interconnected.

Nellie Mae Rowe
American, 1900–1982
Untitled (Woman Talking to Animals), 1981
Ballpoint pen, marker, wax crayon, oil pastel, and graphite
The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection and purchase on the Manley Family Fund; 2018.101
© 2021 Estate of Nellie Mae Rowe / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York