Outsider Art Comes to Manhattan
Leibrock, Amy, Art Business News
NEW YORK--New York was the place to be in February for fans and collectors of outsider art. The main event, the 2001 Outsider Art Fair, was held in Soho from January 26 to 28 and ran concurrently with an exhibition of "Art Brut" at the Museum of American Folk Art and several other outsider art shows at galleries in the city.
Thirty-two exhibitors from the United States, Canada and Europe filled three rooms in Soho's Puck Building with a wide offering of paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, mixed media, fabric and collage from outsider artists--a label first coined in the 1970s by British historian Roger Cardinal in reference to Jean Dubuffet's collection of artwork by social and cultural outcasts, eccentrics and mental patients. Today the term often includes self-taught, visionary, art brut and intuitive artists.
According to Show Director Caroline Kerrigan, this year's fair drew 9,200 visitors and was marked by the participation of more European galleries, including Jean Pierre Ritsch-Fisch Galerie from Strasbourg, France, who presented works by Les Barbus Muller, Aloise, Schroder-Sonnenstern, Madge Gill and Scottie Wilson.
"We're very pleased with the direction the fair is taking, because we wanted to get a more worldwide representation of artists ... we achieved that this year," said Kerrigan.
Many galleries reported good sales throughout the fair, but some were disappointed about the proliferation of other outsider art events that took place elsewhere in the city. "The good news is that there's a lot of stuff to see and say about this art form--the bad news is we try to scrunch it all into four or five days and you can't do it all," said Judy Saslow of Judy Saslow Gallery in Chicago. …