Monthly Archives: July 2011

Philadelphia Museum of Art Acquires Major Private Collection of Works by Self-Taught Artists

Museum Acquires Major Private Collection of Works by Self-Taught Artists.


#outsiderartfair Roberta Smith reviews Mitchell-Innes & Nash group show featuring ‘outsider artist’ Judith Scott

*From the exhibition press release:  The gallery is indebted to Ricco Maresca Gallery and Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, CA, for their support of this exhibition.
“Katherine Bernhardt, Alfred Jensen, Chris Johanson, Chris Martin, Andrew Masullo and Judith Scott”  by Roberta Smith
Art in Review, NYTimes July 14, 2011
Among the group shows emphasizing various forms and degrees of abstract painting and painting like abstraction that are vying for attention in Chelsea right now, this selection of works by six artists has an unusual cohesion, even though it lacks a catchy, encapsulating title. Its connecting tissues include strong color, loosely enforced geometries, a tactile use of materials and a high tolerance for reference and allusion to other two-dimensional conventions,including map making and weaving.
The link to textiles is floated by Katherine Bernhardt’s bright, exuberant paintings, whose free-hand, rather runny patterns pay homage to Moroccan fabrics, and the yam-wrapped objects of the outsider artist Judith Scott, whose subtly animalistic, totemic pieces have never looked better than they do here.With these works as brackets, the textilelike qualities of Alfred Jensen’s thick-surfaced grids and rainbow like concentric ovals come to the fore. (His inspirations included Mayan calendars; surely the Incas’ feathered tunics also played a role.)
Two confident, new patched-together abstractions on wood by Chris Johanson split allusions to textiles and to maps. So, to some extent, do Andrew Masullo’s meticulously composed yet hard-to-pin-down fluctuations of figure and ground, which also intimate ancient architecture and stilllifes.
Chris Martin contributes a single work whose encrusted surface includes cardboard collage, large orbs of bright green on an assertive red-orange background and a pasted-on illustration involving a chariot.
Truculent yet celebratory to the extent of even suggesting Christmas, it withstands its rather melodramatic title, “Wounded Hero Returns to the City (for Paul Thek),” while adding to the show’s lively pictorial back-and-forth.
Mitchell-Innes & Nash is located at 534 W. 26th St.

#outsiderartfair Cavin-Morris exhibition: SHOZO MICHIKAWA: The Nature of Clay

I was so glad I made it yesterday to Cavin-Morris to see the Shozo Michikawa show which closes today.  I was informed that it will be possible to view works by Michikawa after the show comes down, which is great, because seeing the wildly textured surfaces of these avant-garde Japanese ceramic forms in person was a wonderfully sensory experience.  This exhibition appears to be a perfect example of the gallery’s developing interest in “Contemporary ceramics both functional and non-functional,” and particularly “the way ceramists push the envelope of traditional forms and cultures.”

Michikawa worked as production potter before busting out into his art, so it makes sense that he is clearly so skilled, and acquainted with traditional forms.  Even as he squeezes, slices, twists, and plays with them, he retains both the essential quality of the form, and their distinctive Japanese spirit.

There is a lot of great information about the Shozo Michikawa’s art on, and you can even flip through a beautiful digital catalogue of the show.

More about the gallery from Cavin-Morris Gallery has been exhibiting world artists for 27 years. We specialize in the work of self-taught artists

whose work is made independently of the art world canon yet participates equally on the wall or pedestal. We represent the new generation of self~ taught artists whose work remains authentic and visionary while representative of
contemporary times. We also feature important works from preceding generations of self·taught artists including Jon Serl, Bill Traylor and Emery Blagdon.
We show an eclectic selection of tribal art from all the major regions of the world focusing on the unusual and the formally surprising.
Another focus is on textiles of the world, including South East Asian costumes and textiles including tribal China, and Japanese Boros: futon covers made over a period of a hundred years from cotton patches and threads.
Our newest department is a developing interest in Contemporary ceramics both functional and non-functional. We are especially interested in the way ceramists push the envelope of traditional forms and cultures. We show Western ceramists as well as Japanese. Chinese and Korean work.
The common thread that connects all this art is its uniqueness, its integrity and authenticity, and its reAection of cultural homeground. The Contemporary artists we represent extend the continuum established by the self-taught and Tribal artists into a new and exciting multi-tiered arena.


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#outsiderartfair electric pencil news

We just checked in with Harris Diamant, who exhibited last year at the 19th Annual Outsider Art Fair with a booth dedicated to one artist known only as The Electric Pencil.  Diamant just returned from Missouri, where he said he was able to uncover some very interesting information for a documentary he is working on about the artist.  He will be making some announcements about what he has found soon, which will be posted here.

Carlo Zinelli ‘une beauté convulsive’ at Galerie Christian Berst Jun 10 – Jul 23, 2011

Carlo Zinelli, untitled 1968 guache on paper at Galerie Christian Berst

The Galerie Christian Berst, who exhibited with us in New York at the 2011 Outsider Art Fair this past February, first opened its doors in 2005. Since then, as Paris’s only specialist Art Brut gallery, it has worked tirelessly to promote creators of exceptional talent, exhibiting the “classic” names of Art Brut already featured in museums and collections and discovering the stars of the future.
The gallery, a short walk from the Pompidou Centre, holds regular exhibitions and is present at major international art fairs. It offers a wide range of publications as well as hosting numerous conferences, screenings, and other cultural events with the aim of initiating an ever wider audience into the mysteries of Art Brut.

Dino Buzzati and Alberto Moravia took up their pens in the late 1950s to draw the world’s attention to the great creative spirit that had just come to light at the San Giacomo asylum in Verona. Carlo Zinelli was just beginning to use paper for his paintings, featuring the motifs that he had once roughly gouged into the asylum walls using stones and bits of brick. Carlo Zinelli (1916-1974) started out as a farmhand and later found work in abattoirs. Though always a solitary man, he was known as something of a dandy and enjoyed drawing and music. The war years, which he spent in a battalion of Alpine hunters, exacerbated his schizophrenia. His art – a kind of autobiographical narrative, blending together events from before his internment – represents a real revolution in formal terms, characterised by iteration, dislocation, multiplication, atrophy, stylisation, lack of perspective, variations in viewpoint and scale, writing in the gaps that throbs like a pulse, and colour that lends his silhouettes a palpable density. All these elements give his compositions an intense rhythm of frenzied modernity. Those who knew him said that there was no intentionality behind his art, or indeed awareness that it was art. However, by the time he died in 1974, he was estimated to have produced some three thousand works, most of them double-sided, though only a third of this number has been located to date. Jean Dubuffet and André Breton understood the futility of trying to decipher the meaning of Carlo Zinelli’s art, while admiring its beauty which, as Breton wrote, “ if it exists at all, does so convulsively”.

#outsiderartfair exhibitors’ summer shows sizzle

Enjoying summer gallery shows is another great part of the summer season here at Sanford L. Smith & Associates.  With our office located in Chelsea, we are surrounded by art and are lucky to be able to see many of the exhibitions put on by galleries that exhibit in our fairs.  This summer, Outsider Art Fair exhibitors seem to be participating in some of the hottest shows, not only here in Chelsea, but across the country, and around the globe.  In the past few weeks I have seen several that I will list here, then elaborate on in individual posts, and I (and/or others here in the office) will continue to list more as we see them (or, learn about those we aren’t able to see).

Carlo Zinelli:  Une Beauté Conuvlsive at Galerie Christian Berst, Art Brut Paris

“Twisted” Scott Ogden and C.J. Pyle at Ricco Maresca Gallery

“The Faces of Young” Cohen Gallery, GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, produced with the Outsider Folk Art Gallery in cooperation with Cheyney University

“Katherine Bernhardt, Alfred Jensen, Chris Johanson, Chris Martin, Andrew Masullo, Judith Scott” at Mitchell-Innes & Nash

“Take-Out” curated by Scott Hug at Andrew Edlin Gallery

“Shozo Michikawa:  The Nature of Clay” at Cavin-Morris Gallery







A Sanford L. Smith & Associates’ Summer

Summer on 24th Street!

Hooray – We are pleased and excited to tell you that our newest SLSA member joined the  team in mid-June.  Emily Christensen has a background in the arts, and is gearing up for a great show season!

We miss our Cristina and our Bekka with their smiles and joie! Good luck to them both in their new positions. We will have fun this Fall going to each other’s fairs and sharing the art scene.

Meanwhile our office is prepared for a summer look, bermuda shorts, airy dresses, cold salads – lunch on the back deck – doesn’t it sound wonderful?  It is!

Some will vacation more than others; Sandy with lots of long weekends in the Berkshires, Sugar in her old farmhouse on
the North Fork for a few weeks and George visiting Connecticut, Cape Cod, uptown, downtown.

Emily is organizing an exhibition of emerging artists at a non-profit arts center in Pennsylvania.

Watch our blog for more news on the regular (or irregular) business of show biz – all sorts of new and different
approaches in our world of uniquely presenting fine arts and antiques to the public.  Cheers!

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