SEPTEMBER 10 – OCTOBER 15, 2011
The field of Art Brut and its redheaded stepchild Outsider Art, is going through some healthy changes. It has been self-referential as a field in Europe since the early part of the Twentieth Century. However, in the United States, Art Brut has only been known for about forty years. It is indeed a history that has yet to be written in its fullness. It has also taken a strangely provincial path given the universality of the art and the art makers’ visions. We almost always know it when we see it but we have yet to hear a description or definition of it that is wholly convincing.
And now we have seen enough of it that we know it has a huge range of process and presentation, and yes, of quality as well. If we think of this work and mainstream work as two circles that overlap, then we will see that there are places that are mutually exclusive and will never touch, and places that will be blended and nearly indistinguishable. This exhibition covers the circle on the non-mainstream side.
Drawing on works from Asia, the United States and Europe, this exhibition ranges from the autistic spirit plant forms drawn by Anthony Hopkins, the healing basket-like constructions of Emery Blagdon, the mediumistic-guided drawings of Helen Butler Wells, and the psychic weather maps of Zdenek Kosek to the obsessive and pointed drawings of Chris Hipkiss, Timothy Wehrle and James Watkinson. Mix in the canny sculpture of Mort Golub, Kevin Sampson and Chrissy Callas with the art brut works in clay from Japanese artists, Yoshiaki Fujikawa, Kazumi Kamae, and Masami Yamagiwa. Further mix in the intensely drawn heart-sung images of Pushpa Kumari and the new haunting beaded, stitched, and painted sculptures by Sandra Sheeny and it becomes even more obvious that no one sound byte can own this field any longer.
Other artists include Keith Goodhart, Melvin Edward Nelson, Christine Sefolosha, Gregory Van Maanen, Jerry Wagner and Anna Zemankova.