Thursday, April 09, 2009

Outsider Art Show opening in April in Chicago

Culprits, Innocents and Outsiders
Heartland Visions

April 29- August 29, 2009

Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 29, 5-8pm

Self-taught and outsider art is a worldwide phenomenon, and America’s Heartland boasts some of the most distinct, recognized and collected artists in this genre, as well as some whose talents are not so known. This exhibition will feature art by the venerable William Hawkins (1895-1990) and Elijah Pierce (1892-1984), plus works by lesser-known artists Mary Borkowski (1916-2008), Mary Frances Merrill (1920-1999), David Pond (1940-2001), Ernest “Popeye” Reed (1919-1985) and Morris Ben Newman (1883-1980).

Kissing Couple by Elijah Pierce
Inspired by his own Ohio roots and accounts of the 1986 exhibition, 1 + 3 from Ohio, curator Kevin Cole culled several stellar Midwest public and private collections to produce an exhibition worthy of an audience. Self-taught art, although a global phenomenon, embodies the Midwestern and American attitude of self-reliance and the “go your own way” mentality. Culprits, Innocents and Outsiders: Heartland Visions highlights Self-Taught Midwesterners, including Merrill, Borkowski, Newman and Pond whose work has never been exhibited in Illinois.

Notable or newly exhibited, the work of these artist reflect a creative spirit and expression that is very often moving and poignant, impressive and worldly, sometimes humorous and always personal. Revealed are values such as: love, self reliance, independence, self awareness, and a strong work ethic, expressed through such subjects as family, religion, personal tragedy, current and political events, America’s heritage, and nature. Simply put, they present the Midwestern and American experience without a filter. It is the raw presentation of people compelled to create using whatever means and materials necessary and the independent spirit of a region exemplified by the artists who call it home.

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