Vernacular Visionaries: International Outsider Art
Outsider Art is a name for the often mesmerizing creations of those who live and work at a distance from prevailing notions about mainstream artistic trends, individuals who are frequently unaware of themselves as artists or their works as art. This book presents and discusses some of the 20th century's most significant examples of Outsider Art. Global in scope, the book features essays by international scholars on eight artists from around the world, including Gedewon, a cleric from Ethiopia who made unique and psychedelic talismans; William Hawkins, an African-American self-taught artist with a unique pop sensibility; the Mexican artist Martin Ramirez, creator of large-scale works that tell tales of mestizo life; Nek Chand Saini, whose Rock Garden in India is a leading visionary site; Hung Tung, whose colourful scrolls reflect both traditional Taiwanese culture and fantastic imagination; former Navajo medicine man Charlie Willeto, carver of raw, expressionistic figures and animals; Anna Zemankova, Czech maker of dreamy, biomorphic drawings, perhaps done in a trance or mediumistic state; and Italian artist Carlo Zinelli, whose bold graphic compositions display incredible patterns and energy. Filled with photographs and new scholarship, the book presents a major study of international Outsider Art and demonstrates the importance of place and time - as well as internal genius - in these artists' creative processes.