Monthly Archives: August 2011

#outsiderartfair Seeing Stars: Visionary Drawing from the @MenilCollection

From :

Seeing Stars: Visionary Drawing from the Collection

September 23, 2011 – January 15, 2012

In the early Twentieth Century Surrealists were enchanted by “outsider art,” as the work of those
with little to no contact with the mainstream art world has come to be known. They believed artists
with no formal art training or those who drew in altered mental states could more successfully access the subconscious, achieving a greater clarity and authenticity of expression. In 1949, artist
Jean Dubuffet invented the term Art Brut, to define this aspect of art making, and went on to champion creators who “draw everything (subject, choice of material, expressive means, rhythms,
spellings, etc.) from their own inner selves and not from the commonplaces of classical or currently
fashionable art.”

Bill Traylor Figures, Animals, Guns (Exciting Events), ca. 1939–1942 Crayon on cardboard The Menil Collection, Houston Photo: Paul Hester

Showcasing a unique and rarely exhibited facet of the Menil Collection’s works on paper, “Seeing
Stars” highlights drawings by artists that can be called visionary, folk, naïve or self-taught. Defying
traditional and academic methods of representation and mark making, the works share formal and
stylistic tendencies such as repetitive and labor-intensive processes, experiments with chance, automatism, and psychoanalysis, and the construction of imaginary landscapes, creatures, and machines. The exhibition’s title, taken from the vision-altering concept of “seeing stars,” refers to a
physiological anomaly in which the stimulation of the retina by the brain creates the illusion of points of light, colors or shapes. Like the works on view, the phenomenon suggests that creative vision is perhaps most interesting when the eyes are shut and inspiration comes from within.

The exhibition features a selection of Charles A. A. Dellschau’s watercolors and collages of fantastic flying machines, discovered in a Houston junk shop, and two drawings by surrealist artist and author Unica Zürn. Her compulsive line drawings, many completed while she was institutionalized, have been described as sitting on the brink of sanity. The show also includes work
collected by John and Dominique de Menil from the Prison Museum in Huntsville, Texas; a doublesided scroll by Henry Darger depicting a magical universe he called the “realm of the unreal”; and work by Bill Traylor, Joseph Elmer Yoakum, and I. E. Reiquer.

This show is organized by Michelle White, associate curator.

This exhibition is generously supported by the City of Houston. Exhibition underwriter United Airlines is the Preferred Airline of the Menil Collection.

#outsiderartfair Sneak Peek at the Foundation For Self Taught Artists new Website

The Foundation for Self Taught Artists presents and promotes information and scholarly research on self-taught artists. The Foundation fosters public understanding and appreciation of self-taught artists and their work through documentary film, an interactive website, social media, educational events, and academic partnerships.

The Foundation has been posting previews of its new and improved, soon-to-relaunch website on its blog.

Here are a few screen shots of their new site:We are excited for the site to launch and will keep you posted here- it’s going to be a great resource or collectors of self-taught and ‘Outsider’ art!




#outsiderartfair FACE to FACE: Gallery at HAI

Face to Face
The Gallery at HAI presents Face to Face, a two-person exhibition of works by Julius Caesar Bustamante and Irene Phillips. The opening reception is Wednesday, September 7th, 5:30- 8:30 pm. Live music refreshments and artwork for sale will be available. The gallery is located in SoHo at 548 Broadway, 3rd Floor (between Prince and Spring). The exhibition will be on view from August 25 to October 15, 2011, Monday through Saturday, 12-6 pm.

#printfair exhibitor Arion Press has oldest, largest operating type foundry in nation. @IFPDAdotORG

From the SFGate/San Francisco Chronicle: Presidio gems: Arion Press

Meredith May  Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tucked inside the Presidio is one of the last shops in the world where an entire book is created by hand.

At the Arion Press, workers design the layout and then use 100-year-old machines to cast the lead type, print the pages and create the covers. Last, they bind the books by hand. Their method has earned the Arion artisans endangered cultural treasure status by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“We have over 100 tons of type,” Publisher Andrew Hoyem said as the oiled arms of typesetting machines clacked back and forth behind him.

The type foundry at Arion, M & H Type, is the oldest and largest still operating in the nation.

Even though now sells more e-books than hardback and paperback books combined, Hoyem says young collectors are coming to him to experience the aesthetic beauty of books. What he does and what the Internet does are “apples and oranges,” he said.

Arion’s books are limited-edition artworks, resurrections of lost classics and modern stories, many illustrated by prominent artists.

The press has published more than 90 books since it opened in 1974, including the Bible and works by Shakespeare, Gertrude Stein, Italo Calvino, Allen Ginsberg and David Mamet. Currently on the press is a collection of Sappho’s poems, with an English translation.

The most popular book in Arion’s catalog is a sold-out 1979 edition of “Moby-Dick,” with illustrations by renowned artist and printmaker Barry Moser, considered one of the most beautiful books of the 20th century.

Hoyem is releasing five more this year, at more than $10,000 apiece.

A gallery of Arion’s creations is open for tours every Thursday at 3 p.m. To arrange one, e-mail or call (415) 668-2548.

This article appeared on page P – 16 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more:





#outsiderartfair Exhibitor Reynold Lally reflects on activist Jean-Claude Bajeux #art





Reading the obituary of Jean-Claude Bajeux reminded me of a story which had gone out of mind.
When Mr Bajeux was the Minister of Culture in Haiti, we received a call asking if we would decorate the walls of the Ministry with paintings of our choice.  We accepted, and selected paintings from the Saint Soliel group
A few weeks later , I get an urgent call from the Ministry saying please comedown; there is a group of art students threatening to destroy the “bourgeois ” paintings in the Ministry; they wanted the Ministry to hang their work instead. I went straight down to the Ministry with my pickup and took down all the “threatening” paintings. We entered the back entrance, while the students  demonstrated in the front!


Reynald Lally, August 6, 2011,

Jean-Claude Bajeux, activist and scholar who fought Haiti?s Duvalier
dictatorship, dies-Associated Press –read Aug. 5, 2011 article in the Washington Post

Baby Bird

This afternoon while discussing the fairs, Emily caught site of this little bird perched on our Brooklyn Dodgers stadium chair.


#outsiderartfair Promised gift makes Philadelphia Museum a destination for outsider art

2012 will mark the 20th Anniversary of the Outsider Art Fair. According to press release below, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been adding Self-Taught Art to its collection since 1993, the same year as the first annual Outsider Art Fair.  Works by the artists in the Bonovitz collection, which the Philadelphia Museum will celebrate with an exhibition and catalogue in spring of 2013, and including those mentioned in this press release such as Bill Traylor, William Edmondson, Martín Ramírez, William Hawkins, James Castle, and many more, are available for sale at the Outsider Art Fair by highly established dealers in a beautiful, accessible, energy-charged environment, at the 7W building; 7 W. 34th St. (at 5th Ave) NY, NY.

From :

July 21st, 2011
Museum Acquires Major Private Collection of Works by Self-Taught Artists

Promised gift from Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz makes the Museum a
destination for outsider art

Approximately 190 works by self-taught artists have become promised gifts to the Philadelphia Museum of Art from Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, who have assembled over the past three decades one of the finest collections of outsider art in private hands in the United States. Their donation, which the Museum will celebrate with an exhibition and catalogue in spring of 2013, will increase the Museum’s holdings of outsider art by more than sixty percent. Sheldon Bonovitz is a member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.

“Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz have been pathfinders in this field,” said Timothy Rub, the Museum’s George D. Widener Director and CEO. “Their dedication to the work of self-taught artists and the exceptional vision they have brought to the development of their collection will now benefit the public and enable others to understand and appreciate this important, but little known aspect of modern and contemporary art.”

The exhibition planned for 2013 will focus on American artists active between the 1930s and 1980s, many of whom are African American, and will feature works by such iconic figures as William Edmondson, Bill Traylor, and Martín Ramírez, as well as by somewhat lesser-known but widely respected artists such as James Castle, Howard Finster, William Hawkins, and Elijah Pierce.

“Self-taught artists use a wide range of inventive working methods and often employ unconventional materials, including house paint, wood scraps, roofing tin, and shirt cardboard,” said Ann Percy, Curator of Drawings. “The individuality that characterizes the work and the artists’ methods of conceiving images independently of familiar styles, trends, or movements will appeal to a diverse audience interested in exploring new terrain in the art of the 20th and 21st centuries.”

Among the highlights of the Bonovitz collection are six works by William Edmondson (1874-1951), including the stone sculpture Horse. A retired janitor from Nashville, Tennessee, Edmondson took up carving tombstones and outdoor stone ornaments in his mid to late fifties, sometime in the early 1930s. Over the next decade and a half he filled his back yard with small figures of birds, animals, and people, which he sculpted from found chunks of limestone using an old railroad spike for a chisel. Masterful in their simplification of form, pared down to the barest essentials, minimally articulated as to surface and texture, and almost geometric in their near abstraction, these works are today considered among the finest achievements of self-taught art in the United States.

Mexican-born Martín Ramírez (1895-1963), who ranks among the most respected self-taught artists in North America, is represented by seven spectacular works in the Bonovitz collection.  Working with found materials from the confines of DeWitt State Hospital, Auburn, California – diagnosed with schizophrenia, Ramírez spent the greater part of his adult life in mental institutions – he reportedly employed ad hoc substances like spit, bread, and perhaps even mashed potatoes to bind together bits and pieces of used paper into large drawing surfaces.  On these irregular sheets he laid down thick, expressive crayon and graphite lines to create remarkably  conceived, semi-abstracted images of trains, tunnels, Madonnas, horsemen, animals, and landscapes, often adding collaged elements from popular books or magazines.  Combined with the works by Ramírez already owned by the museum, the Bonovitz gift will place Philadelphia’s holdings of this important artist among the finest in public institutions in the country.

Known for his vibrantly colored, dramatically stylized paintings, William Hawkins (1895-1990) turned to art seriously at around age 85, after a life spent working – mostly in Columbus, Ohio – at jobs such as farming, truck-driving, demolition, and steel casting. The Bonovitz collection includes six major works by this artist, who employed brightly colored semi-gloss enamel paints, often poured directly onto large pieces of plywood or Masonite and energetically mixed, swirled, and scumbled with a stubby old paintbrush. His images, dramatic in effect and whimsical in composition, were derived from newspapers, magazines, photographs, and advertisements, and he often incorporated found materials into his works.In Boffo, the animal’s head and shoulders are built up with a heavy application of a bituminous substance such as tar or asphalt.

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