Carrie McGath

Henry Darger

The Ultimate Outsider: Celebrating Henry Darger on His 125th Birthday

Despite the growing canon of Outsider Art, Chicago’s Henry Darger stands among one of its central and most significant figures. Intensely reclusive, he worked by day as a hospital janitor, a banal occupation that could not be more different from his inner life in his one-room apartment in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. His habitat was […]

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The Inscape in Escape Routes: Five Works by Hiroyuki Doi

Hiroyuki Doi’s work is an exercise in meditation as much as it is a topography exorcising grief. Each work is an exaltation of depth: meditative and obsessive while occupying a manic space that swells toward a calm. The five Doi works in the group exhibition, “Escape Routes,” currently on view at the John Michael Kohler […]


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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Uncorking Controversy: The Patience Bottles of Steve Moseley

There is good reason the works by folk artist, Steve Moseley are referred to as patience bottles or whimsy bottles: they require incredible attention and evoke a powerful sense of oddity. Commenting on complex and controversial themes like religion, sex, and politics, the bottles are windows into Moseley’s satirical view of humanity and the absurdity […]

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A Beautiful Rage: The Disarming Collages of Richard Saholt

Observing just one Richard Saholt work has the potential to trigger a pool of primal and disturbing emotions. His collage work beckons fear, violence, chaos, and pain while it is a confessional space for him to navigate a darkness that enveloped him for most of his 89 years. But for 40 of those years, he […]

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Joy Ride: The Art, Music, and Character of Wesley Willis

Almost anyone in Chicago from the late 1980s into the early 2000s knew of the artist and musician Wesley Willis. A larger-than-life figure who created urban landscape drawings and composed, performed, and sold his unconventional music, he developed a fan base that remains dedicated to his work even after his death from leukemia in 2003. […]

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Tireless: The Self-Portraits of Lee Godie

For Lee Godie, the sacred space behind the curtain of a photo booth was not a place for candid snapshots documenting random moments as they are for most people. As the exhibition Lee Godie: Self Portraits—on view now at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center—illustrates with over 50 self-portraits, Godie saw this space as sacred, […]

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The Lyrical Landscapes of Joseph Yoakum at Carl Hammer Gallery

Carl Hammer Gallery in the River North arts district of Chicago is exhibiting several unique works by Joseph Yoakum. These works solidly speak to the impetus that drove him to create his prolific body of work. The exhibition, Spiritual Unfoldments, showcases several drawings he created while living on the South Side of Chicago during the […]


Field of Vision: The Dynamic Works of Tarik Echols

About forty minutes outside of Chicago, in Palatine, Illinois, there is a small studio called Little City Center for the Arts. It is where outsider artist Tarik Echols came to create an incredibly prolific body of work consistently sought by numerous galleries, collectors, and museums. A Swiss collector travels to the area about twice a […]


Fully Rooted: The Industrious and Beautiful Presence of Outsider Art in Chicago

Intuit: Chicago’s Outsider Art Gem Tucked in the West Town neighborhood, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, is one of Chicago’s most democratic and unique museums. They are also the nation’s only nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to Outsider Art. Their permanent collection is an anthology of work that encompasses the history of the […]