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Cleveland's most recognized outsider artist, Reverend Albert Wagner, is celebrated in Gray's Fall Auction
Born in the deep south, Albert Wagner came to Cleveland as an ambitious young man in search of opportunity.
CLEVELAND, OH.- Gray’s Auctioneers announced the upcoming sale of the self-taught, Cleveland-based artist, the Reverend Albert Wagner (1924 – 2006). Taking place on September 20, 2012 at 11am, Gray’s 60th Auction will solely consist of this artist’s vast and emotive collection of vibrant paintings and unique sculptures. The wide range of work presented in the sale portrays the Reverend’s colorful life story along with his unique perspective on the world around him.

Born in the deep south, Albert Wagner came to Cleveland as an ambitious young man in search of opportunity. Despite his success as an entrepreneur and family man, Albert’s life took a wayward path as he succumbed to infidelity, alcoholism, drug use, and eventually, crime. On the eve of his 50th birthday, in jeopardy of losing his livelihood and damaging his familial relationships, Albert experienced a spiritual revelation through art. He gave up his destructive habits and became ordained as a Christian minister, henceforth creating art as the Reverend Albert Wagner.

As an outsider artist, the Reverend set himself apart in artistic circles with a strong focus on spiritual themes and African American oppression. His revelatory insights are expressed with bold and colorful liveliness that is both beautiful and obscure, and yet controversial all at once. Featured in the award-winning biographical documentary, “One Bad Cat,” his work has also been publicized in The New York Times, LIFE Magazine, and by the Folk Art Society of America. The Reverend’s works are on display at the American Visionary Art Museum and in several prominent private collections. This fall, Gray’s is thrilled to be able to offer the artist’s life’s work to local, national, and international audiences what will surely be the collecting opportunity event of the season.

This captivating collection of art will be auctioned in Gray's auction showrooms at 10717 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. Parking is available and refreshments will be provided. Condition reports and shipping quotes are available upon request. Live online bidding for this auction is offered, together with telephone bidding and absentee bidding. The auction showrooms will be open for preview September 13-19, 11am - 6pm, on Friday, September 14, 6pm - 10pm, there will be a preview party, on Saturday, September 15, the gallery will be open by appointment, and on Sunday, September 16, the gallery will be closed. The complete illustrated catalog will be available on Gray’s website,

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