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Artist Inclusion through Creative Art Centers

Outsider art, since its conception by Jean Dubuffet and Roger Cardinal, has had a complicated relationship with the many disparate and marginalized communities that it has come to represent. The developmentally disabled community is no exception tothis limitation. While the recognition of work by artists of different abilities is important, the other-ing of any artist […]

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Equality and Materiality: Katherine Jentleson’s Vision for The High’s Folk and Self-Taught Art Collection

Since 1994 the High has developed one of the most established collections of folk and self-taught art in the country. In January of 2015, Katherine Jentleson was appointed to the position of Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA. Jentleson’s interest in self- […]

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For Private Eyes Only: Selected Artwork from the Kinsey Institute

The Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Indiana contains an archive of objects and ephemera related to Alfred Kinsey’s pioneering studies of human sexuality. Sixteen pieces from the Institute are now on view at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago through October 2 as the exhibition Private Eyes: Selected Artworks from the Kinsey […]

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Collecting a Human Experience at The Keeper

Holocaust memorabilia, rock crystals, antique vessels, and trash found on the streets of New York City: these are some of the objects in The New Museum’s current exhibition, The Keeper. Discarded pieces of gum and cellophane wrappers are shown side-by-side with photographs documenting the structure of snowflakes. Among the exhibited artifacts are quilts from Alabama […]

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Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Old in New: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens

Many Philadelphians may take for granted a sight that frequents the narrow, colonial streets of South Philly – passages of mosaic murals made from broken mirror and porcelain embedded in plaster on building facades. These distinctive pieces are the life’s work of local artist Isaiah Zagar, and manifest in their most concentrated form at Philadelphia’s […]

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The Search for Mark Anthony Mulligan

Now that I look back, the one and only time I ever saw Mark Anthony Mulligan was in the 1980s on the corner of Eastern Parkway and Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky. I was commuting home from the University of Louisville, waiting for my transfer bus. Mulligan had just stepped off another bus going in […]

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John Schacht

The Rarely-Seen Work of Obscure Artist John Schacht

Earlier this year, the Knockdown Center in Brooklyn organized a group exhibition that was partly comprised by the first posthumous show of works by a little-known American artist named John Schacht (b. 1938). Stacie Johnson, the curator of the exhibition, first learned about Schacht’s work in 2010 when she worked as an archivist for the […]

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The Many Terms in Our Continuum: ‘Outsider Art’

As Priscilla Frank and Kevin Sampson aptly point out, the term ‘Outsider Artist’ is offensive to some subgroups of artists within the art world that has manifested itself outside of the establishment. While we at Brut Force have tried to remain term agnostic, siding with the way the artist prefers to describe his or her […]

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Jessica Park, The Brooklyn Bridge #3, with Lights and Twin Light Pillars, 2003 cover edit

To the Edge and Back: Jessica Park and Outsider Art

The designation “outsider art” is often perceived as offensive to the artist and degrading to the art. Darold A. Treffert in his book Islands of Genius documents a number of autistic savants whose art and music skills are indeed extraordinary. Along with a prodigious memory and ability to mimic almost instantaneously what is seen or […]

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Catching a Fever Within: Ronald Lockett at AFAM

Earlier this summer, a large audience gathered in the American Folk Art Museum’s main hall to listen to an esteemed panel talk about the life and work of the late Bessemer, Alabama artist Ronald Lockett. A lighthearted gravitas filled the room. As the first ever solo exhibit of Lockett’s art—an admixture of found sculpture, folk, […]

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James Castle at Measurably Long Kool

Measurably Long Kool at Fleisher/Ollman

Since its opening in 1952 (as Janet Fleisher Gallery), Fleisher/Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia has done a great deal to propel the field of self-taught art into the mainstream. From early representation of Henry Darger and James Castle to their current, consistently cohesive representation of both traditionally trained and outsider artists – often exhibited together inclusively […]

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A Radical Explanation: The Art of Noah Erenberg

If you ask painter Noah Erenberg about any creative choice, odds are you’ll get one specific response: “It’s radical.” Radical is Erenberg’s guiding principle. It’s why he uses oil paints; it’s his justification for artistic choices like making porcupines green and hanging a surfboard above the art bar being built in his backyard, it’s why […]

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