The Outsider Art Fair Returns, in Top Form

by AryanArtnews
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It’s been two years since the last outsider art fair with over 60 galleries was held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan. But now it’s back and the atmosphere is, of course, a celebration.

The dealer is happy to see you again. Many participants are showing new materials, unknown or completely unknown works. Ask them. And more familiar works by the anointed masters look great in the big booth near the entrance: James Castle, Joseph Yorkm, William Hawkins, Martin Ramirez. These booths belong to the following veteran galleries: Fleisher / Ollman (Booth A5), Curl hammer (B6), Hirschl & Adler Modern (B8) When Ricco-Maresca (A11) Responsible for building the field and part of the history of outsiders.

But at the same time, like many things after Covid, the fair feels different and is probably a little nervous. Where is this going? This is the 30th anniversary of the fair. It’s a huge success and everything about outsider art seems to be working, but is it just absorbed into the mainstream?

The definition itself is becoming more and more elastic, obscuring the separation of “insider” art from the world. What exactly is an outsider artist (usually working in isolation without training and barely touching art) when the phenomenon is increasingly accepted by major galleries and museums and its greatest talent enters the canon? Is it? Representing at least one or two outsiders, even in non-major contemporary art galleries, Niselboschen (B10)), James Fentes (D12), Fireman (A9) When Situation (A10)..

Outsider art couldn’t be stopped. Once you understand its wonders and the potential of its market, the world of insider art opens the lock and we are here. Until at least 2023, it can be said that outsider trade fairs are fighting back by making themselves a little more elastic in a way that will probably be discussed.


Booth C23

The most obvious sign of its elasticity is the exhibition “Field Trip: Psychedelic Solutions, 1986-1995”), among the four curated displays caused by fair owner Andrew Edrin. The biggest one. Expand the category of outsider art to include psychedelic art genres (paintings, drawings, posters) that have flourished in the Bay Area since the 1960s and have also reached their limits. Such material was the focus of the psychedelic solution, a gallery known for its groundbreaking exhibitions founded in West Village by Jacques Barcaster, a West Coast transplant in 1986. The homage was organized by Fred Tomaselli, the creator of very beautiful and wacky art. Color-oriented works such as Joe Coleman’s recent portraits of Hunter S. Thompson and Olga Spiegel’s abstract paintings, as well as varying degrees of complexity and attachment by Robert Crumb, Bruce Conner, Jean Conner and others. It contrasts with the ink image that exudes. Familiar artists like Peter Spoecker, Rick Shubb, and Kastor himself were seen in a surprisingly oversized collaboration with their mother, Sue Kastor.

Booth C7

Based on the slightly self-serving knowledge that art dealers’ contributions to art history are often lost, shrine owner and leadership Scott Ogden has had a gallery in New York since 1982. In honor of the art dealer Louise Ross. Until 2013, she (and her others) was somewhat overshadowed by perhaps the dreaded Philis Kind. The show is most interesting for Ross’s first champions, Moses Triver and Minnie Evans, and her early featureless work by the great narrator of her own life, Garyen Aiken. In parallel with the show, the gallery collected online archives from Ross’s files featuring posters, presentations, letters and timelines.


Booth D8

In essence, this group show will star in the relatively unknown Delawels. Born in 1951, Delawells seems to see Rohmer Bearden as a starting point. She uses small pieces cut or torn from magazines to create the elaborate, glittering and mosaic-like urban landscape often dominated by stylishly dressed women. The result is similar to modern accelerated cubism. Wells’ background, especially her choppy blue sky, is often separated by small images, so the air looks memorable.


Booth C13

In the section dedicated to Ralph Fasanella’s work, what stands out is the unusual full-length image that should be in the museum. Populist Fasanella liked the crowd scene, but in 1954, “The Seated Woman in a Yellow Dress,” introduced a relatively simple and imposing black woman to colors and patterns. Reveals the affection of. There is also a small close-up portrait of the Fasanella subway rider. The characteristic New York face of Mid Century, some of which are dozing.


Booth A6

Melvin Way’s art was discovered by Bullet Space founder Andrew Castrucci and was introduced to the public at the first outsider art fair. Way is a great artist who is free from his claims to maintain mental illness and the homeless. His small ink paintings (nearly 30 of which are on display) are at the same time mysterious and highly suggestive. Their pulsating lines and numbers are similar to the fusion of mathematical equations, molecular models, computer circuits, and atomic structures. It also seems to represent the energy of the thought itself.

Booth D15

This non-profit nature reserve in Sandersville, Georgia, participated for the first time here, but dedicates limited exhibition space to the far-reaching and relatively unknown art of Owen Lee (1922-2002). .. The small booth at the fair is also packed with enough types of work to be a group show. Mostly like a colorful and gorgeous combination of paintings, drawings and collages, uncontrollable vibrancy and through-line textiles.


Booth D4

This Bronx nonprofit, the first to attend the fair, supports artists with disabilities. Introducing relatively unknown works by Rayed Mohamed and Bin Feng. Inspired by Chinese landscape paintings, Bin’s paper paintings exude confidence and promise. Mohammed’s efforts (including painting on paper) are more developed and unique. A saturated color spread constructed or embedded from maps, combat plans, or small repeating marks that suggest private language.


Booth C15

One of the most peculiar artifacts at the trade fair is dozens of pages from a small handmade booklet dated 1866, whose manufacturer has not yet been identified. Its painful ink paintings and detailed scripts tell the story of previously enslaved families and their former owners after liberation reversed their destiny. The smiling black family thrived, but the frowning whites lost substantial (human) property, fell into difficult times, and sometimes found employment as a nanny for a former servant.


Booth C17

Hosted by artists Eric White and Aaron Guadams, this fair’s smallest curated exhibition features paintings by artist and animator Bruce Bickford (1947-2019). However, it focuses on Bickford’s personal obsession with the mystery horror television series “Twin Peaks.” Here it is represented by a detailed miniature model of the town. It’s actually a tether from locations around Los Angeles and Washington. This includes, but is not limited to, the town of Twin Peaks. Believers in the series recognize landmarks such as waterfalls, gazebos, and the Great Northern Hotel. The rest of us can enjoy the gentleness of the artist’s touch, the weathered palette, and the lack of a straight edge that snugly gives the place a unique life.


Booth C11

Lesser known as an outsider veteran, this Columbus, Ohio gallery has been around for 24 years. The roster is particularly striking for the painting of the mysterious and visionary Morris Ben Newman (1883-1980), who claimed to be a descendant of the Ethiopian royal family. In his bright landscape, the shapes of trees, houses and terrain are rustic, but unified by the handling of gorgeous paint, which is characteristic of great artists.


Outsider Art Fair

March 3-6, Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, Manhattan. 212-337-3338; ​​Outsiderartfair.com.

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