Art created outside the boundaries of official culture.*
No contact with art institutions or the mainstream art world.
Extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, elaborate fantasy worlds.
First coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972, the term ‘outsider art’ now has diverse meanings. A synonym for art brut (French for “raw art” or “rough art”), the term originally focused on art produced by those outside of the established art scene, such as insane-asylum patients and children. Raw Vision states, ” It was an art produced entirely for individual satisfaction and inner need with no regard to exhibition, fame or monetary reward.”
It is also said that the outsider art movement gained momentum when artists who were not accepted to show at large venues would set up outside on the grounds to sell their work. (‘Outside’ instead of ‘inside’.) Today it’s a catch all phrase to mean ‘that which has not been influenced by university training or cultural norms’. Outsider art fairs are very popular in New York City and Paris.
Mars Hall Gallery in Tenants Harbor will be hosting it’s own outsider art show, “Outside the Box”. Some of the artists are self taught , each maintain their own vision.
Paintings and constructed sculpture made from everyday objects by Elaine Niemi depict her life in Maine. Her work was shown at the University of North Carolina last April in a One Person Show.
Antonia Small has combined her passions- modern dance, contemporary theater and photography- in her pinhole camera work. A student of Marcel Marceau’s in the 1980’s, she has performed in France, the US, and at the top of the world, on the Spitsbergen Archipelago.
Discovered on the Pont des Arts in Paris is Maurice Michel Lode. His mixed media works ‘les femmes’, are painted on any fabric available to him.
The inside/outside metal sculptures of Brian Read, a whimsical genius, are made from old tools, car parts and assorted metal junk.
The show will run from August 22nd to October 13th, reception Friday August 22, 6-8pm. It will coincide with the show ‘Eleven’, celebrating the eleventh anniversary of Mars Hall Gallery.
*Term ‘official culture‘ refers to the culture that receives social legitimation or institutional support in a given society.
Read Dona Bergen’s story, owner of Mars Hall Gallery here.
Gallery openings week of August 18-24