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HAPPENINGText: Isabella Howard

Carl Hammer Gallery showed four works by the enigmatic Henry Darger, a Chicago recluse who spent decades producing his magnum opus, The Realms of the Unreal, an epic tale with a 15,145 typed manuscript and hundreds of accompanying watercolor illustrations.

Henry Darger at Carl Hammer Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of the Gallery

The story tells the fantastical tale of the Vivian girls, seven prepubescent princesses who fight violent battles against evil forces to save their homeland. Darger’s expansive pastiches often display colourful floral landscapes and innocent young girls experiencing extreme danger and violence.

Judy Chartrand at Macaulay & Co. Fine Art. Photo: Barb Choit

Macaulay & Co. Fine Art’s presentation of Cree ceramicist Judy Chartrand appropriates art history, such as Andy Warhol’s soup cans, whilst simultaneously commenting on the Métis/Cree heritage often erased from American culture and bringing it to the forefront.

Danielle Jacqui at Galerie Polysémie. Photo: Pagan Carruthers

At Galerie Polysémie, the embroidered coat by Danielle Jacqui is just a taste of the French multi-media artist’s larger project where she decorated the façade and entirety of her Roquevaire residence in colorful ceramics, paintings, and handcrafts in similar liberal and vibrant patterns to her coat.

The throngs of visitors affirm the increased interest in Outsider Art by not only the general public but also the upper echelons of the traditional art industry, with the fair reporting a 20% increase in attendance from the previous year.

Marianne Boesky whose eponymous blue chip gallery took on self-taught artist, Thornton Dial in 2015, stated at the time: “the boundaries between outsider and insider are shifting: I watch academically trained artists work hard to shake loose from all the scholarship and technique to channel their emotions and experiences in more immediate material and formal ways.” This sincerity to the self is carried through to the identity of the Outsider Art Fair, which is a unique art fair and experience that continues to create excitement and marvel among its visitors.

Outsider Art Fair 2017
Date: January 19th – 22nd, 2017
Place: Metropolitan Pavilion
Address:125 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
Tel: +1 212 337 3338

Text: Isabella Howard
Associate with Melting Butter

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