Press Release  July 23, 2020

An Alternative Canon: Art Dealers Collecting Outsider Art

Collection Andrew Edlin

Henry Darger, Untitled (She Got to Sit on Ringo's Lap), c. 1966-67. Mixed media on paper. 18 x 24 in.

An Alternative Canon: Art Dealers Collecting Outsider Art
July 22 – September 19, 2020
Curated by Paul Laster

Following in the footsteps of such pioneering art dealers as Phyllis Kind (1933-2018) and Sidney Janis (1896-1989), more and more contemporary galleries are now exhibiting Outsider Art. Kind championed both contemporary art and the work of self-taught artists at her galleries in Chicago and New York, and Janis, who represented twentieth-century giants like Pollock, De Kooning, Rothko and Guston, brought attention to American “primitive” painters like John Kane and Morris Hirshfield in his seminal 1942 book They Taught Themselves. Today’s dealers and gallery directors are also adding works by untrained artists to their personal collections.

Over the past year alone, three solo exhibitions for important Outsider artists have opened at contemporary galleries in New York. David Zwirner held a show of drawings by Bill Traylor (1853-1949), who was the subject of a major retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. in 2018 and at the American Folk Art Museum in New York in 2013. Venus Over Manhattan showed works by Joseph Yoakum (1890-1972), who had a one-person show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1972 and has a forthcoming solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, which travels to the Menil Collection and the Museum of Modern Art. Barbara Gladstone is currently exhibiting the drawings of the late Chinese outsider, Guo Fengyi (1942-2010), whose one-person exhibition To See from a Distance was held at the Drawing Center earlier this year.

An Alternative Canon features nearly seventy-five artworks lent by more than thirty dealers, including a Yoakum drawing from Adam Lindemann; paintings by Folk Art legends John Kane and Grandma Moses from Jane Kallir; a Bill Traylor drawing from Lucy Mitchell-Innes; works by artists associated with the Creative Growth Art Center from Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn; sculptures by legendary New York street artist Curtis Cuffie from Aarne Anton; Italian self-taught artists Vera Girivi and Elisabetta Zangrandi from James Barron; Czech art brut artists Zdenek Košek, Luboš Plný and Anna Zemánková from Shari Cavin and Randall Morris; Japanese Outsider artists Misaki Ohya and Yuichi Saito from Sayaka Toyama and Daniel Silverstein, respectively; Ivorian folklorist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré from Barry Malin; a Tom of Finland drawing from John Cheim; Vernacular art relics from Frank Maresca; photographic works by unknowns and lesser-knowns from David Winter and James Salomon, along with a Morton Bartlett from Julie Saul and a Weegee from Daile Kaplan; works by artists associated with the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from Scott Ogden, Susan Inglett and Hong Gyu Shin; and works by untrained masters Henry Darger, Guo Fengyi, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein and Adolf Wölfli from Andrew Edlin; along with other fascinating pieces from a surprising group of dealers.

The concept for this show grew out of the tremendous response to the exhibition at the New York Outsider Art Fair in January, Relishing the Raw: Contemporary Artists Collecting Outsider Art, which was also curated by Paul Laster.

Collection Julie Saul

Morton Bartlett, Untitled (girl with flowers & broach), 1955.

Art Dealers Collecting Outsider Art

Diane Ackerman: Lonnie Holley

Aarne Anton: Curtis Cuffie, O.L. Samuels

Joe Baptista: Walter Mika

James Barron: Isidoro Cruz Hernandez, Norris Embry, Vera Girivi, Dan Miller, Reza Shafahi, Elisabetta Zangrandi

Chris Byrne: Susan Te Kahurangi King

Shari Cavin and Randall Morris: Leonard Daley, Zdenek Kosek, Joseph Lambert, Melvin Edward Nelson, Luboš Plný, Jon Serl, Anna Zemánková

John Cheim: Tom of Finland, Matthew Wong

Kathleen Cullen: Felipe Jesus Consalvos

Andrew Edlin: Jim Carrey, Henry Darger, Thornton Dial, Guo Fengyi, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, George Widener, Adolf Wölfli

Shelley Farmer: Edward Deeds, Jr (aka The Electric Pencil), Julian Martin

David Fierman: John Hiltunen

Leo Fitzpatrick: Daniel Johnston, Taylor Mead

James Fuentes: Herold Pierre-Louis

Jay Gorney and Tom Heman: Minnie Evans, Ray Hamilton, Melvin Way

Susan Inglett: Mose Tolliver

Jane Kallir: Ilija Bosilj, John Kane, Anna Mary Robertson (“Grandma”) Moses, Josef Karl Räder

Daile Kaplan: Weegee

Birte Kleemann: Anonymous, Guyodo

Adam Lindemann: Joseph Elmer Yoakum

Barry Malin: Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Frank Maresca: Anonymous

Lucy Mitchell-Innes: Pearl Blauvelt, Bill Traylor

Scott Ogden: Hawkins Bolden, Ike Morgan, Prophet Royal Robertson, Chuckie Williams 

Tom Parker: Madge Gill, John Martin, Edwin Zalenski

Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn: Derrick Alexis Coard, Helen Rae, Aurie Ramirez

James Salomon: Dougherty The Third

Julie Saul: Morton Bartlett

Hong Gyu Shin: Ange Boaretto, Kalapalo Tribe, Purvis Young

Daniel Silverstein: Yuichi Saito

Gary Snyder: Janet Sobel

Michelle Tillou: Winfred Rembert

Sayaka Toyama: Misaki Ohya

David Winter: Anonymous

Amy Wolf: Frank Walter

Anna Zorina: Billy White

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