RAWVISION OUTSIDER • BRUT • FOLK • NAIVE • INTUITIVE • VISIONARY
RV 82 SUMMER 2014
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RAWVISION82 SUMMER 2014
EDITOR John Maizels DIRECTORS Henry Boxer, Robert Greenberg, Audrey Heckler, Rebecca Hoffberger, Phyllis Kind, Frank Maresca, Richard Rosenthal, Bob Roth
TEARING DOWN THE MYTH – BILL TRAYLOR
BEYOND THE DOODLE
BILLY TRIPP’S MINDFIELD
ART BRUT TODAY
THE MYSTERY OF ZORAN TANASIC
GALLERY & MUSEUM GUIDE
Outsider events and exhibitions around the world.
An examination of Traylor’s coming of age.
ART EDITOR Maggie Jones Maizels SENIOR EDITOR Edward Madrid Gomez
The history and an examination of automatic drawing.
FEATURES EDITOR Nuala Ernest ASSOCIATE EDITOR Natasha Jaeger ACCOUNTS MANAGER Judith Edwards SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER Suzy Daniels US ASSISTANT Ari Huff FRENCH EDITOR Laurent Danchin CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Michael Bonesteel, Jenifer P. Borum, Roger Cardinal, Ted Degener, Jo Farb Hernandez, Tom Patterson, Colin Rhodes, Charles Russell ADVERTISING MANAGER Kate Shanley ArtMediaCo, Sales & Marketing 799 Broadway #224 NY NY 10003 917 804 4642 ArtMediaCompany@gmail.com
PUBLISHED by Raw Vision Ltd PO Box 44, Watford WD25 8LN, UK tel +44 (0)1923 853175 email email@example.com website www.rawvision.com
38-metre-high industrial memorial construction in Tennessee.
A current view on the changing face of French Art Brut.
Drawings appearing on trees and bus stops.
Celebrating twenty years of the gallery at Gugging.
Haunting wood sculptures with a message.
Exhibitions, events and books.
US OFFICE 119 West 72nd Street, #414, New York, NY 10023 (standard envelopes only) BUREAU FRANÇAIS 37 Rue de Gergovie, 75014 Paris tel +33 (0) 1 40 44 96 46 ISSN 0955-1182 Raw Vision (ISSN 0955-1182) June 2014 is published quarterly (March, June, September, December) by Raw Vision Ltd, PO Box 44, Watford WD25, 8LN, UK and distributed in the USA by Mail Right Inc., 1637 Stelton Road 84, Piscataway, NJ 08854. Periodical Postage Paid at Piscataway, NJ, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster send address corrections to Raw Vision c/o Mail Right International Inc., 1637 Stelton Road 84, Piscataway, NJ 08854. USA subscription office: 119 72nd Street, #414, New York, NY 10023. (Standard envelopes only).
COVER: Marcel Storr, Series of Cathedrals, 1964, coloured ink and pencil.
AMERICAN FOLK ART MUSEUM VISIONARY AWARD
WORLD’S BEST ART MAGAZINE
UTNE INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARD
MEDAILLE DE LA VILLE DE PARIS
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AUSTRALIA, AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, BRAZIL
INTUIT AND MADMUSÉE
until October 3, 2014 Bild Böse (“Evil Image”) is a selection of works created as part of a project by photographer Jo Goertz, featuring twenty artists from six countries including Stefanie Bubert, Peter Kapeller and Patrick Hanocq.
until September 9, 2014 Brewed in Belgium: e Collection of MADmusée continues at Intuit, whilst Brewed in Chicago: A Common Bond continues at MADmusée.
July 1 – August 30, 2014 Enchantment is a survey of Tony Convey, one of Australia’s pioneering artists from the outsider art scene.
CALLAN PARK GALLERY Sydney College of the Arts The University of Sydney NSW 2006, AUSTRALIA stoarc.com
MADMUSÉE Parc d'Avroy, s/n, B-4000 Liège, BELGIUM www.madmusee.be ATELIER 10 Puchsbaumgasse 1c/5/5 1100 Wien, AUSTRIA www.atelier10.eu
INTUIT 756 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642, USA www.art.org
until November 2, 2014 As part of its twentieth anniversary celebrations, Galerie Gugging features works by two new Gugging artists: Helmut Hladisch and Jürgen Tauscher.
until August 9, 2014 45 of João Francisco da Silva’s wooden sculptures depict men, women, saints, mermaids and animals.
joão francisco da silva
GALERIE GUGGING CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
GALERIE GUGGING Am Campus 2, 3400 Maria Gugging, AUSTRIA www.gugging.org 4
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GALERIA ESTAÇÃO Rua Ferreira de Araújo, 625 Pinheiros, São Paulo SP 05428-001, BRAZIL www.galeriaestacao.com.br
until August 22, 2014 More than 400 works by 81 artists from around the world continue to show in the Raw Vision 25 years exhibition at Halle Saint Pierre.
June 27 – September 7, 2014 Côtes Ouest features the works of sixteen artists from French and American west coasts. e American artists, from Creativity Explored, include Peter Cordova, Steven Liu and John Patrick McKenzie. e French artists, from Création Franche, include Gildas Baudry, Ignacio Carles-Tolrà and Joël Lorand.
RAW VISION AT HALLE SAINT PIERRE
HALLE SAINT PIERRE 2 Rue Ronsard, 75018 Paris, FRANCE www.hallesaintpierre.com
MUSÉE DE LA CRÉATION FRANCHE 58, avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny 33130 Bègles, FRANCE musee-creationfranche.com
until September 28, 2014 Principally curated by Laurent Danchin, Mycelium - Génie Savant, Génie Brut at the Abbaye d'Auberive features works by self-taught artists alongside trained artists. Includes an installation by Jim Sanders, shell works by Paul Amar and Youen Durand, obsessive drawings by Joël Lorand, Jean-Michel Chesné and Ghislaine, paintings by Serge Vollin and Franck Lundangi, reliefs and assemblages by Ghyslaine and Sylvain Staëlens, Joaquim Antunes and Jano Pesset, and large polyptychs by Raymond Reynaud.
until August 31, 2014 In Marie-Rose et les grosses machines, the intricate knitted, woven and lace creations of Marie-Rose Lortet are displayed, juxtaposed with the powerful machinery of the museum.
ABBAYE D'AUBERIVE Place de l'abbaye, 52160 Auberive, (Haute-Marne), FRANCE www.abbaye-auberive.com 8
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LA FABRIQUE DES SAVOIRS DE LA CREA 7 cours Gambetta 76 500 Elbeuf, FRANCE
until August 31, 2014 Human, Soul & Machine: e Coming Singularity continues examining the ever-increasing impact of technology on every aspect of human life. Also at AVAM, Donald Pass: e Hope We Seek celebrates the visionary artist’s ethereal spirit paintings, until February 22, 2015.
until August 3, 2014 Ralph Fasanella: Lest We Forget celebrates the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth and brings together key works from a career spanning 52 years.
until September 15, 2014 Currently at the Four Sisters Gallery in Wesleyan College’s Welcome Centre are the paintings of thirteen selftaught visionary painters from the permanent collection. Includes Biblical interpretation, Surrealistic landscape, Action Painting, portraiture, quaint folk paintings and tragic narrative.
AMERICAN VISIONARY ART MUSEUM
FOUR SISTERS GALLERY College Welcome Center North Carolina Wesleyan 3400 N. Wesleyan Blvd Rocky Mount, NC 27804
ELIAS TELLES AT THE GOOD LUCK GALLERY
ANGKASAPURA AT CAVIN-MORRIS
August 2 – 30, 2014 Works by Elias Telles will be shown at e Good Luck Gallery, a new gallery in Los Angeles showcasing self-taught art.
Cavin-Morris Gallery are pleased to be showing works by Indonesian artist Angkasapura. Also, until August 15, 2014, FRESHET: Old Loves, New Directions features important works by Gallery artists.
AMERICAN VISIONARY ART MUSEUM 800 Key Hwy Baltimore, MD 21230 www.avam.org
SMITHSONIAN AMERICAN ART MUSEUM 8th and F Streets, NW Washington, DC 20004 americanart.si.edu
THE GOOD LUCK GALLERY 945 Chung King Road, Los Angeles, CA 90012 www.thegoodluckgallery.com
CAVIN-MORRIS GALLERY 210 11th Ave #201, New York, NY 10001 www.cavinmorris.com RAW VISION 82
TEARING DOWN THE MYTH, BUILDING UP THE MAN Renowned African American artist Bill Traylor comes of age in the art market and the museum world By CARA ZIMMERMAN
n his eighties, artist Bill Traylor (c. 1853–1949) limned a bold, geometric world of people, animals, locations and “exciting events” in graphite, charcoal, coloured pencil and poster paint. More than 1,200 extant drawings are an enduring record of his long and challenging life. The artist was born into slavery on the Traylor plantation, near Benton, Alabama, where he remained as a farm labourer after Emancipation and Reconstruction. In 1928 he moved to Montgomery, Alabama, and by the late 1930s, crippled by rheumatism, he spent his time drawing in a doorway on the city’s bustling Monroe Street. Amidst the frenetic energy of urban life, Traylor rendered what he saw and what he remembered: dancing figures appear alongside architectural details and animatedly aggressive animals. It is not clear when Traylor began drawing, but artist Charles Shannon first came upon his work in 1939 and religiously saved the images. Despite Shannon’s tireless promotion of Traylor’s oeuvre, it did not garner substantial art world attention until the late 1970s. Its inclusion in 1982’s “Black Folk Art in America, 19301980,” at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, finally established Traylor’s position as a noteworthy American self-taught artist. Since then, the pieces have been increasingly respected and embraced for their graphic power and modernist sensibilities, and over the past few years noteworthy market prices, full-blown scholarly studies and ambitious museum exhibitions have changed the way we think about – and what we know about – the artist and his world. (1) There is still an undeniable mythology surrounding Traylor’s life and work: Shannon’s “discovery” of the homeless Traylor drawing on a stoop reads like a sailor discovering lost treasure; the quixotic notion of Traylor’s memories and imaginations being poured onto found cardboard speaks to unencumbered genius. And, 18
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mythology is a powerful thing, making the artist a universal, larger-than-life figure regardless of his everyday world, or experiences, or the facts. Leslie Umberger, Curator of Folk and Self-taught Art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, understands the appeal of mythology, but notes its limits: “The most powerful stories take on an aura of myth and sometimes the facts take a backseat to a good narrative. And yet, at a certain point what we really need is to understand the truth. The mystery of Traylor’s imagery helped build a strong following, but what we respond to in Traylor’s work is its inherent intensity and power. We need to follow that power and try to glean its source, even if that is not an easy task or the answers are not always what we expect or prefer them to be.” Umberger is one of the many scholars, curators, filmmakers and dealers ensuring that Traylor’s myth crumbles away. Mechal Sobel’s 2009 monograph “Painting a Hidden Life: The Art of Bill Traylor” was in ways a catalyst for many of the recent Traylor projects. Reconstructing his early life through census and plantation records and providing a picture of the social landscape in which he lived, Sobel built upon studies conducted in the 1990s and 2000s and used primary research to create a clearer portrait of the artist’s world. (2) And for each romantic statement that research has toppled, the picture of a man – a talented, artistic, imperfect man – has started to emerge. Traylor lived a difficult life, marked by alcohol abuse and physically right: Dancing Man, Woman, and Dog 1939–42 crayon and pencil on paperboard 22 x 13 7/8 ins., 55.9 x 35.4 cm Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr, and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986
BEYOND Doodles, meanders and automatic drawing, and the relationship with outsider art
By DAVID MACLAGAN
arginal drawings, in manuscripts both ancient and modern, have a mysterious attraction, all the more because we can only guess at what might have prompted them. Often, especially with scribes, there must have been an element of kicking over the traces, a sort of graphic truancy, sometimes even a revenge of the image over the alphabetic system and the institutional authority behind it, that penned it in. This flavour of insubordination carries over into the modern phenomenon of doodling, a term that suddenly gained currency in the period between the wars and spawned a number of doodle “dictionaries.” The interpretations they offered were influenced by a mix of graphological and psychoanalytical concepts, almost as if the external rebellion of earlier times had been superseded by an internal, unconscious one. As Russell Arundel, author of Everybody’s Pixillated (1937), put it, While doodles appear to be aimless pixillations they are in reality accurate pictures of the Subconscious Mind. They are psychic blueprints of man’s inner thoughts and emotions that have slipped from the deeps of memory onto paper. (1)
Whilst many of the published doodle interpretations use material solicited from celebrities, and give suitably flattering readings, there are some from more popular sources, most notably the results of a competition run by a London newspaper in 1937, for which over 9,000 doodles
left: Laure Pigeon, Horseman and Message, October 28, 1938, ink on paper 25.6 x 19.7 ins., 65 x 50 cm courtesy Collection de l’Art Brut
above: Eugene Andolsek, Untitled n.d., coloured ink on graph paper 21 x 16 ins. 53.3 x 40.6 cm courtesy American Primitive Gallery
were submitted. Coincidentally, three psychiatrists from the Maudsley Hospital wrote up a very general analysis of them, seeing them as evidence for a lowering of consciousness and a descent to a more “primitive” level of mental functioning. (2) In their classic form, doodles have a casual and democratic character: they are made absent-mindedly, often by people with little or no artistic pretension, and they have a surreptitious and disobedient flavour to them. is already has something in common with outsider art. In fact, in the course of shaping his concept of Art Brut, Dubuﬀet also expressed an interest in such spontaneous and rudimentary mark-making, and proposed, “To feed oﬀ inscriptions, instinctive markings. To respect the human hand’s impulses, its ancestral spontaneities when it traces out signs.” (3) This penchant for the unsophisticated, even the awkward and clumsy, was certainly a significant part of the original platform for his collection, and the doodle RAW VISION 82
NAVIGATING THE MINDFIELD This expanding construction by Billy Tripp is an industrial-scale glimpse into his life and worldview By FRED SCRUTON
lifetime construction project of monumental proportions, Billy Tripp’s Mindfield Cemetery is a personal diary writ large in steel. Its pages are open to the world and are regularly reshaped by sculptural entries that transcribe his inner journey; the Mindfield displays captured thoughts and recollections in a sheer metal fabric that expands and grows denser by the year: “the metal byproduct of my life as a conversation with myself.” Reaching 38 metres high from a narrow plot bordered by a shopping plaza on the west, the Sunrise Motel on the east, a small lawn and barbershop set the Mindfield slightly back from Main Street in downtown Brownsville, Tennessee. Forward to the sidewalk, surrounded by flowers and colourful left-behinds from Tripp’s nearby car wash, a painted hood from an old crane gives name to the
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massively curious structure behind: “The Mindfield Cemetery.” Not intended to last, this low tract (from 2006) brings ephemeral colour to the steely gray permanence of the Mindfield and includes dolls, strollers, hanging signs and brightly-painted message-bearing tree stumps cleared from the main site: “In honor of: human Imperfection (I’m o.k. with mine)... .” Visible from blocks away, the all photographs by Fred Scruton below: a painted hood from Tripp’s first truck crane displays the site’s full name: “The Mindfield Cemetery” opposite: lit at night, the Mindfield Cemetery looms over a Main Street barbershop
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AR T BRUT TODAY With increasing exposure and attention, from a French perspective, can Art Brut retain its original status and power? By LAURENT DANCHIN Translated by DAVID MACLAGAN
rt Brut is terribly fashionable these days, especially in France. For reasons that are complex and linked to a general historical paradigm shift in culture, after decades of semiclandestine existence it is moving from the margins to the centre and is gaining triple recognition from museums, universities and the market. In the same move, freed from the jealous and possessive passion of
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its pioneers, it is changing hands, becoming prey to the facilities of vulgarised rediscovery and, like all the other products of an essentially commercial society, it enters the area of â€œhype,â€? of promotional strategies, not to say disguised publicity copy. Or else it becomes a bit academic, painstaking, almost tedious, which, for such an extraordinary and imaginatively stimulating domain, is rock bottom. And so it is that, for better or
left: Marcel Storr (1911–1976) is a major recent discovery in French Art Brut; he left 63 imaginary cathedrals and megalopolises: Series of Cathedrals 1964 coloured ink and pencil on paper 30 x 37 ins., 76.2 x 94 cm photo B. and L. Kempf right: a trained artist, Chomo (1907–1999) lived like an hermit in the forest of Fontainebleau for 40 years – he was a true “outsider:” Vibrating Head c. 1985 43.3 x 16.9 ins., 110 x 45 cm acrylic and plaster on wire netting photo Pascal Brousse
INNER DIALOGUE ON THE WORK OF ZORAN TANASIC‘ An unknown urban artist draws Ivan Zupanc into his obsession By IVAN ZUPANC
Having noticed these movements and patterns in the have never met Zoran Tanasić in person. Everything I posting of his works, I waited some time before taking know about him is based on clues I have pieced them myself. My main motive was to preserve his works together, left in public spaces. He is active in Vračar, from decay, and I also had a need to be a collector of his Belgrade, near where we both live. Four years ago I originals (today, I have almost 200 original works and noticed one of his drawings pinned to a tree and, since 1,500 photographs). Each of these works was first then, I have investigated and photographed everything photographed and then left displayed for a while before I connected with him. His signature, which includes his took them for my collection. It was a real research address and his first and last name, is on a great number of project, because I had to these works. On his works walk a significant he describes himself as a I had to walk a significant distance distance each day and lawyer, or sometimes as a each day and keep my eyes open in keep my eyes open in farmer, medical worker or search of new works. other profession. search of new works. Motifs in his works A common feature of include airplanes, Tanasić’s work is the use of modified aircraft and space ships. Early on, he emphasised ballpoint pen, which he uses to both create his drawings and the history of war aviation and noted the names of leading write diﬀerent inscriptions. Almost all his works are on plain airplane manufacturers that marked World Wars I and II. A4 paper. On the backs, he has written erotic songs, His depictions were realistic, with an emphasis on the diﬀerent stories and fantasies. roles of these vehicles in historical battles and then-current When displaying his works, the location of Tanasić’s legends of them. Next he developed fantastic modified home appears to influence his choice of placement. A creations of airplanes with unusual names: “Bombarder nearby power transformer station has been covered with Airplane – faster than speed of light, with vertical take-off, his works several times over four years. Trees, buildings landing and double fuselage,” “Airplane of variable entrance doors, walls, notice boards, transformer stations, geometry of fan wings: Delta,” “Rocket space ship: poles and advertising billboards are other favourite sites. Protection,” “Kawasaki: HIEN,” “A hyen that came from He renews his installations by pinning new works over the East and attacked at dawn,” and so on. old ones or moving them to new locations. He also inscribes different texts on his already-displayed works, as well as on advertisements. One of his distinct rituals is attaching his works to a background with scotch tape, and above opposite: the amount of tape he uses demonstrates his attempt to the transformer station – Tanasić’s favourite place to exhibit drawings; portraits of prevent someone from easily removing or tearing up his Tanasić’s friends from primary school and Serb Chetnik commanders from World War II works. However, if someone does destroy or take any of photo taken on December 28, 2008 his works, he temporarily changes his location. For below opposite: example, the city’s sanitary services once removed his diﬀerent themes, drawings posted on a tree, photo taken on June 8, 2009 works (over 100) from the power transformer station, and following this he did not display his works at that site for all works are undated, on A4 white paper with ballpoint and felt-tip pen a while.
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GALERIE GUGGING: 20 YEARS Founded in 1994, Galerie Gugging not only presents renowned international Art Brut and self-taught artists but is also committed to introducing and building up newcomers By NINA KATSCHNIG
he East Lower Austrian Psychiatric Clinic of Klosterneuburg-Gugging was founded in 1885. Hundreds of people with a variety of mental and physical health problems lived there. From 1946, psychiatrist Dr Leo Navratil (1921–2006) began working in what had been re-named the Gugging Convalescent and Nursing Home. Navratil soon initiated the use of drawing tests for diagnostic purposes, after being inspired by the work of American psychologist Karen Machover. He would ask patients to draw a person or tree on a blank postcard, and would then trace their psychological conditions and any progress by analysing how their images changed over time. The drawings of some patients caught his attention with their particularly expressive power and originality, which ultimately prompted Navratil to pursue art psychotherapy. In 1965 Navratil published his book Schizophrenia and Art (Schizophrenie und Sprache, Munich 1976), which aroused great interest at the time, particularly among members of the Austrian art world such as Arnulf Rainer, who supported Navratil and saw great artistic value in many of the works. Navratil visited an Art Brut exhibition in Paris in 1967, and from 1969 onwards he began corresponding with French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985), who in 1948 had coined the term Art Brut to describe an “unspoiled, rough” form of art, stemming from an internal need of expression, free from academic aesthetics and created outside the cultural mainstream. The collective term did not denote a particular artistic direction or style; the artists’ individuality is the only thing they all had in common. Immediately after the end of 54
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World War II, Dubuffet travelled to Switzerland where he discovered works by Adolf Wölfli, Aloïse Corbaz and Heinrich Anton Müller, who were to become central figures of his Collection de l’Art Brut. Navratil had sent Dubuffet an etching Negress (Negerin) by his patient Johann Hauser. Dubuffet was clearly impressed by the artists discovered by Navratil and confirmed that they fell into the category of Art Brut. In 1970 the first sales exhibition, Pareidolia, was held at the Galerie nächst St Stephan in Vienna, with works by fourteen then-patients. Many books and documentary films came out in connection with this event, and other exhibitions followed. In 1972 the curator Harald Szeemann exhibited the work of the best-known Art Brut artist, the Swiss Adolf Wölfli (1864–1930), at “documenta 5” in Kassel, placing it for the first time in the context of international and contemporary art. In the same year Roger Cardinal introduced the term “outsider art,” which was used as an extension of the designation Art Brut, particularly in the English-speaking world. Navratil wanted to provide his gifted patients with a place to live and work that was separate from the hospital complex. In 1981, Pavilion 11, a disused building on the outermost edge of the hospital grounds, was opened as a Centre for Art and Psychotherapy. Eighteen patients moved in, inset: Oswald Tschirtner, A Circus Tent, pen and ink, 1989, 8.3 x 5.8 ins., 21 x 14.8 cm right: Johann Hauser, Woman, pencil, n.d., 12.1 x 8.7 ins., 30.7 x 22 cm
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APPALACHIAN PROPHET Fred Carter’s raw and impassioned sculptures embody his creativity and beliefs
By LEN DAVIDSON Photos DAN MEYERS
right and opposite: The Final Battle (front and back) c. late 1980s–1990 carved wood and mixed media 111 x 36 x 6 ins., 282 x 91.4 x 15.2 cm
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h My God!” I muttered as D.R. pushed the grey file cabinets aside, revealing e Final Battle. Enveloped by a grotesque snake, this horrifying, biblical-looking figure towered over D.R., a former football player. My awe was rare but familiar; it was the shock of encountering Palais Ideal…Watts Towers… a Dr Evermore spaceship. But as D.R. turned the behemoth 180 degrees, I realised I had been looking at the tame side of the sculpture. Moses had morphed into a skeleton, a robot, a nightmare, Armageddon. Speechless, my mind futilely raced for comprehension. I was reduced to a Space Odyssey monkey tossing sticks at the monolith. Fred J. Carter was born in 1911 in Duﬃeld, Virginia, on a farm that lacked electricity and had an outhouse. One of 11 children, he was impacted by his intellectual father, the Great Depression, and the infamous Harlan County coal mining union struggles. His uncle Ed came under sniper fire at Harlan, while an older brother – a communist union
organiser – was beaten there and spent his life in and out of asylums. After the 1917 Bolshevik revolution and during the depression, it was not unusual for intellectual and liberal Americans to see communism leading to a “new world order.” Uncle Ed was such a man, and Carter was exposed to radical thinking through Ed and the prominent socialists Ed knew. At Ed’s urging, Carter attended Berea College, but he dropped out, possibly because he was teased for being a slow student. Carter became a businessman who first worked in Ed’s hardware stores, and eventually owned his own hardware/home improvement business in the coal town of Clintwood, Virginia. But his progressive experiences and friendships with a wide range of people made him a worldly man with a deep social conscience. When a foot injury at age 50 left him temporarily homebound, a latent passion to express his beliefs in art was unleashed. Carter spent the next 30 years, until his death in 1992, relentlessly giving artistic form to his convictions – many of which proved prescient. He developed a remarkable set of skills to express that
vision. He collected pioneer tools and built the Cumberland Museum in Clintwood to display his “primitive things of toil and love.” He excelled at stonemasonry, landscape architecture, poetry, short story writing, painting, philosophy and, most notably, carving found wood. He would study the wood, seeing or letting a theme emerge, while incorporating the wood’s idiosyncratic shapes, imperfections and grain. He built his home and studio at and onto Ghost Rocks, where legend has it that Indians massacred pioneers who passed between these two huge boulders. He covered the studio with stone faces and filled the house and museum with paintings and wood carvings. Carter’s prodigious self-taught talents turned him into a kind of Mountain Michelangelo who could have become a major figure in American, if not international, visionary art. But, ironically, his vision also contributed to his relative anonymity. When he created his museum, he was celebrated by the community. His rough-
SELF-TAUGHT GENIUS: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum American Folk Art Museum, New York May 13 – August 17, 2014 This exhibition, featuring a diverse selection of works in an array of media drawn from the American Folk Art Museum’s permanent collection, will travel to six other US venues through early 2017. As it does, gaining media attention along the way, it has the potential to dramatically change what “folk art” means to both specialists and general-interest art aficionados alike. Certainly it should help deepen the public’s understanding and appreciation of just what “self-taught” can and does mean with regard to American folk artforms and also more broadly, given that nowadays an increasing number of contemporary-art admirers are being drawn to the creations of inventive autodidacts. AFAM’s chief curator, Stacy C. Hollander, and its curator of art of the self-taught and Art Brut, Valérie Rousseau, co-organised this exhibition, which is divided into several thematic sections. Referring to the functions, purposes or character of the works grouped together within each one and the people who made them, they bear such titles as “Achievers,” “Encoders,”
“Messengers” and “Reformers.” In her essay in the show’s excellent catalogue, Hollander notes, “The idea of ‘self-taught’ in America is entrenched in a culture of selfactualization that was fundamental to the revolutionary temperament and critical to the growth and success of a new nation.” The exhibition’s central proposition – that artistic genius can reside in the unschooled and be found in a wide range of their utilitarian or decorative or deeply personal creations – effectively alters or elevates a conventional estimation of folk art objects, which has been long-standing in the US. That view holds that folk art works, perhaps because their production is often guided by established, traditional forms or because they are often utilitarian (despite their makers’ evident ingenuity) are somehow inherently, aesthetically less valuable. This exhibition blasts that assumption with such works as nineteenth-century Hosea Hayden’s ingenious, wooden folding chair; a hand-assembled volume of Henry Darger’s In the Realms of the Unreal; Mary T. Smith’s untitled, expressionistic, paint-on-metal picture of three human figures (1976); a psychedelic-looking child’s birth record from Ohio (1816), in watercolour and ink on paper; and Morris Hirshfield’s oil-on-canvas The Artist and His Model (1945), with its many affinities to modernist reductivist image-making techniques. There are more treasures where these came from in this not-to-bemissed opening of AFAM’s vaults. Edward M. Gómez
EIICHI SHIBATA: SOAP Yoshii Gallery, New York May 1–June 14, 2014 Now in his early forties, Eiichi Shibata is a participant in the programme at Kobo Syu, an art-therapy center in Kawaguchi, in Saitama Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. is social welfare organisation, as
such entities are known in Japan, was founded in 2002. To date, in Japan’s still young outsider/self-taught art field, most of the notable art-makers whose work has been discovered and exhibited have been associated with organisations of this kind. In Tokyo, the dealer Yukiko Koide has shown Shibata’s abstract paintings on canvas and paper in the recent past. is first-ever solo exhibition of his work, consisting of just eight colourful pieces, was presented at one of New York’s highend galleries. For those who believe the attention to self-taught artists’ works by such venues represents the contemporaryart market’s validation of such unusual creations, a show like this one could have been seen as something of a coup. In fact, the strength of Shibata’s artistic vision in his handling of the powerfully expressive language of abstraction is something bigger than the savviest dealer’s showmanship. If anything, in Shibata’s case, that most ineﬀable aspect of any work of art, its aura or sense of presence, is something with which the most capable dealers must strive to keep up. Yoshii Gallery did so in a sparse, elegant installation of the artist’s small and larger ink-on-canvas works. Each was displayed on a single panel in an octagonshaped room within a larger room. e eﬀect was intense and intimate. It drew viewers deeply into the colour-saturated pictorial space of Shibata’s compositions (monochromatic and multi-hued). All of the works shared the same title, “Soap.” ey featured thickets of fine lines, like overlapping fishnets, dotted with splotches and drips of transparent or rich, dark colour. If emotions could be charted, such images might resemble Shibata’s pulsing abstractions, whose sometimes sputtering, sometimes tranquil mark-making gestures oﬀer visual metaphors for the most unpredictable rumblings of the human spirit. Edward M. Gómez RAW VISION 82
ilija (bosilj) bašičević
ILIJA/MANGELOS: FATHER & SON, INSIDE & OUT Galerie St Etienne, New York April 24 – July 3, 2014 Taking family ties and the notion of diﬀerent kinds or categories of art as starting points, Galerie St. Etienne presented “Ilija/Mangelos: Father & Son, Inside & Out,” an exhibition that looked back to compare and contrast the distinctive oeuvres of two art-makers who had lived and worked in what used to be Yugoslavia. Both now deceased, they were also father and son. The exhibition brought together the paintings of Ilija (Bosilj) Bašičević (1895–1972), a Serbian peasant who in his lifetime received only 4 years of primary-school education and made pictures with allusions to the Bible, folk poetry and myth, and the conceptualist works of his intellectual, well-educated, critic-curator son Dimitrije Bašičević (1921–1987), who used the artist’s name “Mangelos.” The aesthetic dialogue between their two bodies of work felt highly charged and there was a frisson of tension between these two very different bodies of work. Ilija’s pictures, made mostly in oil on canvas or board, or in gouache on cardboard, are full of colour, fantasy and whimsy, while his son’s works are printed texts or images that he blacked out or obscured with gouache in a seemingly minimalist gesture – or maybe with some kind of theory-animated glee. Literally or symbolically, what was Mangelos obliterating? At the time, in his then-totalitarian homeland, how provocative was such an artistic act? Edward M. Gómez
LINE LET LOOSE Scribbling, Doodling and Automatic Drawing Kureashon Furanshu (Frank Creation: Création Franche) by David Maclagan Reaktion Books, London, 2014 ISBN 978-1-78023-082-5, £22 is compact and exhilarating enquiry into the deceptively obvious phenomenon of drawing oﬀers original theorising backed up by a cornucopia of choice reproductions. David Maclagan starts by directing his attention to “the very roots of drawing” in the scribble, where he finds that unexpected meaning is always on the cards, given that, whatever else it may convey, the scribble documents the presence of a scribbler, whether alert or soporific. An excursion into the field of animal mark-making raises the question of what exactly constitutes a true drawing. Common sense might rule that it should involve purpose: otherwise it will sprawl ineﬀectually at the level of the accidental and incidental. Yet even an opaque scribble can convey emotion, as witnessed by the example of the handwritten letter whose author has obliterated certain intimate and embarrassing passages. Maclagan turns next to the whimsical topic of the doodle, eliciting further instances, including truant configurations in the margins of scripts or on a note pad by the proverbial telephone. We are shown doodles done by children and chimpanzees, doodles by outsiders like Dave Pearson or Mehrdad Rashidi, and even one of the author’s own unguarded images. Maclagan recalls the silly season of the doodle in the 1920s, when it became a
playground for pseudo-analysis and crass decoding. He equally supplies us with the specimen meanderings of such professionals as Willem De Kooning and Cy Twombly, who seem fascinated by the latent expressivity of even the most witless traces on a page. e author hovers over the intricacies of secretive, obsessional patterning on the threshold of legibility, and – resisting the habits of his art-therapist past – holds back from interpretation. e final object of this enquiry is the automatic drawing, as produced by spiritualist mediums and delirious lunatics, and their earnest playmates, the pictorialists of Surrealism, art informel, Action Painting and Psychedelic Art. e family likeness of their productions testifies to the existence of a primal or primitive style which we cannot but endorse as being art, since its graceful, flowing lines raise the drawing to the level of beauty. Maclagan marvels at the dreamscapes conjured up by practitioners from Paul Klee to Michaux and Unika Zürn, and tempts us with images by such outsiders as Richard Nie and Jane Ruﬃé. Without quite defining it, he invokes the concept of the metadoodle, a type of automatic drawing characterised by a “fluent, frictionless facture” which somehow reconciles spontaneity with organic orderliness. It’s as if there were always tasteful nuances to savour even where the imagined draughtsperson is deemed too distracted to be “in charge” of the process. By now Maclagan has reached far beyond the hasty squiggle in the margin and, at the climax of his patient ascent, he points to a few select favourites as masters of metadoodling. e concept becomes visible in such exemplary mark-makers as the eager pen-pusher Hans Scholze and the meticulous superdoodler Carl Keshishian, whose “line let loose” asserts its freedom in the cultivation of a microscopic yet boundless fabric – a mode of drawing that seems set to cover the entire globe. Roger Cardinal RAW VISION 82
PARIS OUTSIDER ART FILM FESTIVAL e Imaginary Worlds of Ordinary Geniuses. April 26 – 27, 2014 Maison des Cultures du Monde, Boulevard Raspail, 75006 Paris e festival, consisting of 25 films shown over two days, was held in conjunction with the “Raw Vision 25 years” exhibition at Halle Saint Pierre. Presented by Denis Lavaud and Pierre-Jean Wurtz, the films were shown to over 350 people. English language presentations included two of Markham Street Film’s series of documentaries on environments, Driven by Vision, showing the environments of Jim Bishop and St EOM. Other films included moving records of the artists of Gugging by Milka Assaf, Mr G and André Robillard by Claude and Clovis Prévost, and Emile Rattier by Alain Bourbonnais. Two wellknown contemporary film makers in the outsider sphere, Bruno Decharme and Philippe Lespinasse, each showed several films, with Lespinasse concentrating more on artists working in Africa and Asia, such as Nek Chand, Ataa Oko, Eijiro Miyama and Guo Fengyi, while Decharme’s films documented several classic outsiders. Films by Mario del Curto traced the creative lives of Macoto Toya and Pya Hug. e film festival was enthusiastically attended and a lively forum of discussion as well as a successful two days of films which displayed the private worlds – many now lost forever – of these uniquely creative individuals.
EOA CONFERENCE – PARIS Halle Saint Pierre, May 15 – 16, 2014. e European Outsider Art Association is a wide network with members from museums, studios, collections and free culture organisations all across the continent. is European network for outsider art held its general assembly at Halle Saint Pierre, Paris in conjunction with Raw Vision’s exhibition. omas Röske, director for Prinzhorn Collection (DE), was re-elected as the president of the association. New board members were Lotte Nilsson-Välimaa from Inuti studios (SE), Barbara Safarova from the abcd Collection (FR), and Marc Steene from Pallant House Gallery and Outside In (UK). e board members continuing their period were vice president Raija Kallioinen from the Union for Rural
RAWREVIEWS Culture (FI), Marina Giordano from Osservatorio Outsider Art (IT) and Pierre Muyelle from MAD Museum (BE). e oﬃce of the network will stay in the GAIA Outsider Art Museum in Denmark, and the secretary general is Jan Ulrik Sakso Juhl. e activity plan for the network will be focused on outsider art environments in 2015 and will include international meetings in Palermo, Italy, and Mänttä, Finland. In 2016 the focus will be on questions of collecting outsider art, including a conference in Katowice, Poland, and a touring exhibition produced by the Prinzhorn Collection. e network will be applying for funding from the EU’s Creative Europe program, with an aim to produce a database for promoting outsider art to wide audience via the internet. COME – Creative Outsiders Meet Europe is the working title for the project. In addition there were meetings by specialised interest groups, concentrating on environments, studios and collecting and presenting. e programme of talks and lectures included Dieter De Vlieghere on the concept of curating outsider art, Jo Farb Hernandez on exhibiting and documenting environments plus contributions from Carinne Fol, Martine Lusardy, John Maizels and omas Röske. http://www.outsiderartassociation.eu/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Europe an-Outsider-Art-AssociationEOA/114801301916473?ref_type=book mark
率直な創造：クレアション ・フランシュ SOCCHOKUNA SOUZOU Kureashon Furanshu (Frank Creation: Création Franche) by Gérard Sendrey and other contributors Galerie Miyawaki, Kyoto, Japan, 2013 ISBN 978-4-9902435-6-2, ¥2700 Established in 1958 and long known for its presentations of works by foreign, modernist masters, in recent years Galerie Miyawaki, a gallery in Kyoto, has become one of Japan’s premier showcases for works made by self-taught artists. at’s because classic Art Brut and outsider art are big interests of dealer Yutaka Miyawaki, the son of the gallery’s recently deceased founder. He has shown works in this category by foreign and Japanese artists, as well as schooled contemporary artists’ works that reflect Art Brut’s spirit. Under the younger Miyawaki’s direction, the gallery has been carrying
out an original-book publishing programme and to date has issued several volumes, including one about the postman Ferdinand Cheval’s “Palais Idéal” in southeastern France and, now, most recently, Socchokuna Souzou: Kureashon Furanshu (Frank Creation: Création Franche), a monograph about the French self-taught artist Gérard Sendrey. A prolific producer of pictures made with ink or coloured pencils on paper, in 1989 Sendrey helped establish the Site de la Création Franche (now a fully fledged museum) in Bègles, near Bordeaux. To contrast with the label “Art Brut,” which Sendrey considered too closely linked to Jean Dubuﬀet’s theories, he coined the term “création franche” (literally, “frank creation”) to refer, as the Bègles institution’s website notes, “to all the forms of art parallel to... cultural art: outsider art, popular art and naïf art... without respect for... theoretical borders.” Galerie Miyawaki’s new book, published in Japanese, examines the character and scope of Sendrey’s work with essays penned by the artist himself, Noël Mamère, Michel évoz and Pascal Rigeade. e translator of the book’s original French-language texts, Ryo Kubota, and Yutaka Miyawaki also contribute short essays, which describe their reactions to Sendrey’s art and the cultural-historical contexts in which it may be appreciated by Japanese viewers who encounter it for the first time. Small in format, packed with reproductions of Sendrey’s sometimes intricately patterned, sometimes loosely brushed images, and beautifully printed, Socchokuna Souzou: Kureashon Furanshu is both an ambitious and substantive oﬀering from a gallery that is making significant contributions to research in the outsider art field in Japan. Edward M. Gómez RAW VISION 82
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RAW VISION 123 Facsimile reprint of the historic first three issues
Art Brut Dubuffet, Art Cars, Definitions, Lonnie Holley, Abbé Fouré, Ray Morris
Billy Lemming, Huichol, Australian Outsiders, Art of the Homeless
von Bruenchenhein, Imagists, Monsiel, McKesson, Mabussa, Vahan Poladian
Joe Coleman, Minnie Evans, Seillé, Peploe, Papa, Canadian Environments
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Ossorio, Irish Naïves, Nick Blinko, Ray Materson, Le Carré Galimard
Adolf Wölfli, Art Cars Zeldis, Albert Louden, Cellblock Visions
Sudduth Burgess Dulaney, St EOM, Mouly, Dulaney, Mr Eccles, SPACES
30 Picassiette, Benefiel, Vodou, Dellscahu, Mediumistic, Van Genk
40 Eli Jah, Singleton, Marie-Rose Lortet, Ross Brodar, Catalan site
50 Hamtramck Disney, Roger Cardinal, Ken Grimes, Criminal Tattoos
62 S.L. Jones, Kevin Duffy, Frank Jones, Charles Steffen
72 Masao Obata, Takeshi Shuji, Henriette Zéphir, John Toney, Edward Adamson
31 Mary T Smith, de Villiers, Matt Lamb, Old Curiosity Shop, Mithila Painters
41 G. Aiken, Junkerhaus, Kurt Haas, P Lancaster, Minnie Evans
51 August Natterer, New Gugging, George Widener, Paul Hefti
63 Howard Finster, Michel Nedjar, James H Jennings, Rosemarie Koczy
73 Dalton Ghetti, Art & Disability, Danielle Jacqui, Andrei Palmer, Mingering Mike
Rio Museum, Voodoo,Carvers of Poland, Naïves of Taiwan, E. James
Ben Wilson, Inner Architecture, Fasanella, Phase 2, Fryar, Gordon’s Patio
Roger Cardinal Bentivegna, La Tiniaia,Grgich, Collis, Ray Morris
Alex Grey, Lacemaker, Art & Madness, Luna Rossa, Sekulic, Lee Godie, Uddin, Mary Nohl Palace Depression, Saban, Benavides
Watts Towers, Bessy Harvey, Marginalia, F. Monchâtre, Tree Circus
Palais Idéal, J. Scott, Charles Russell Donald Pass, Outsider portraits
William Thomas Thompson, Alfred Wallis, Johnny Meah, Michael Rapanakis
Dr. Leo Navratil, Ilija Bosilj, Simon Sparrow, Melvin Way, Pradeep Kumar
Nek Chand, Finster, Valton Tyler, LaraGomez, P.Humphrey, War Rugs, Lonné
52 Ivan Rabuzin, Czech Art Brut, Sunnyslope, Prophet Blackmon
64 Joe Coleman, Harald Stoffers, Elis F. Stenman
74 Henry Darger, Peter Kapeller, Nadia Thornton Dial, Belykh
Theo, Jane-in-Vain, Janet Sobel, Lanning Garden
Toraja Death Figures, Chauvin Sculptures Josef Wittlich, Nigerian Sculpture
Maura Holden, Clarence Schmidt R.A. Miller, Hans Krüsi, Silvio Barile
Speller, Norbert Kox, Haiti street art BF Perkins Damian Michaels
Philly/K8, Sefolosha, Palmer, Belardinelli, Ludwiczac, Oscar’s sketchbook
75 August Walla, Adolf Wölfli, Antoni Gaudi, Tim Wehrle, Frank Walter, Art & Therapy
76 CJ Pyle, Aloïse Corbaz, Mr Imagination, John Danczyszak
Robert Tatin, N-M Rowe, McQuirk, Denise Allen, Freddie Brice
Thornton Dial, Richard Greaves, Martha Grunenwaldt
29 Mary Proctor, Carlo Zinelli, Dernier Cri, Art Brut, Jersey Shell Garden
Van Genk, Purvis Young, Marcel Storr, RA Miller, Madge Gill, Makiki
Boix-Vives, Fred Smith, Rosa Zharkikh, Donald Mitchell
28 Y5/P5, Chomo, Arning, Leonov, Kaiser, The Tarot Garden, Gene Merritt
William Hawkins, Expressionism and Insanity, Giovanni Battista Podesta
57 Burning Man, Matsumoto, Nicholas Herrera, William Fields
67 Renaldo Kuhler, Sonabai, Outsider Films, Giov Bosco, Finster/Ginsberg
Finnish Outsiders, Sylvain Fusco, Roy Ferdinand
Scottie Wilson, Gavin Bennett, Bispo Do Rosario, Art Behind Bars
Hung Tung, Photography, Bernard Schatz, Jessie Montes
Darger, R/stone Cowboy, Thévoz: Chiaroscuro, Pearl Blauvelt, Bressse
49 Mammi Wata, Fred Ressler, Mary Whitfield, Isaiah Zagar
Lobonov, Zindato, JB Murray, Anthony Jadunath, Seymour Rosen
Emery Blagdon, ZB Armstrong, Bali, Imppu (Finland), Mari Newman
Tom Duncan, Movie Posters, Spanish Sites, Rosa Zharkikh
Electric Pencil, Gugging, JJ Cromer River Plate Voodoo
Mario Mesa, Tim Lewis, Joel Lorand, Chelo Amezcua, Clayton Bailey
Paul Amar, Phyllis Kind, D M Diaz, W Dawson, Joe Minter, Survivors, Martindale
Colin McKenzie, Eugene Andolsek, Surrealism/Madness, INSITA, Churchill D
Martin Ramirez, Bruce New, Stephanie Lucas, Ellen Greene, Art in Houston
Mark Beyer, Howard Finster, Veijo Ronkkonen, Alexis Lippstreu
Alex Grey, Hiroyuki Doi, Josef Karl Radler, Ferdinand Cooper, Patrick Joyce
80 Prophet Isaiah Robertson, SchröderSonnenstern, Madge Gill, John Gilmoour
Sam Doyle, Myrtice West, Lost In Time, Romanenkov
81 Andre Robillard, Johnny Culver, Lubos Plny, Arte Bruta, Donald Pass