About Outsider Art Now


When I decided to talk about Outsider Art I was 22 and it just hit me like a ton of bricks.
While I was discovering figures like Adolf Wolfi, Henri Darger and Aloïse, I felt the need to tell about them, especially to Italian people, who had already opened up to this type of creation, but who maybe were not ready yet to talk about "Outsider ART", and not only "Outsiders".

It was the beginning of 2014 and the Venice Biennale of the previous year, carried out by Massimiliano Gioni, had allowed me to see some monumental “outsider” works for the first time, starting with Marino Auriti’s Palazzo Enciclopedico, which gave its name to the exhibition, to Sinichi Sawada, Friedrich Schröder Sonnerstern, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein and all the other ones.
Actually, it has been years since I was fascinated by this kind of artistic manifestations, partly due to my study at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, and partly because I have been always attracted by the album cover of Talking Heads’ Little Creatures, as well as the story of Outside, a masterful album by one of my favorite heroes, David Bowie.
My interest has also been aroused by Oreste Fernando Nannetti, when I secretly visited his enormous creation in the Asylum of Volterra where read an inside incredible world.
And then, I had the possibility of improving more and more on this subject thanks to the substantial amount of tickets for exhibitions and museums, tons of books and my still outstanding collaboration with Galleria Rizomi, the first and only Italian reality to deal with Art Brut.

Now it's 2018 and two more galleries have been raised in Italy plus some other exhibition areas and when I say that "I like Outsider Art", I get fewer and fewer vague and amazed stares. Good sign? Probably.
But I keep talking about it.

The Author
Gloria Marchini graduated in Promotion of Cultural Heritage at Brera Academy of Milan (Italy), where she has also specialized in Digital Applications for Art. In 2014 she founded outsiderartnow.com, in order to help the development of the themes of both Art Brut and Outsider Art in Italy. Ever since, she has been working along with Rizomi Art Gallery, previously in Turin and now in Parma. She is also one of the founding members of Artètipi, an Italian association which aims to spread the knowledge and culture of Art Brut, Art Naif, Outsider Art and Folk Art.

- October, 2017 - Framed/Unframed, Online Show #130 for the NIAD Center, Richmond (California)
- April 11, 2017 - Incontri ai confini: Art Brut e Design, talk and exhibition, Varese Design Week, Varese.


Brief glossary for those who still do not know:

Art Brut
Term coined by the French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985) in 1945. He was fascinated by the creations of self-taught authors out of the official artistic culture.
The brut artist is a marginal, self-taught, creative spirit who does not follow models, who ignores techniques and does not propose an external purpose to his own expressive need. He often operates in conditions of loneliness, discomfort and suffering, that is why many (but not all of them) Authors have been discovered by Dubuffet in psychiatric hospitals. The dedication that these figures put into the realization of their work is all-encompassing and far from the imitation of conventional languages.
In 1976, the Dubuffet collection became the founding base of the Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne, at the Chateau de Beaulieu.

Outsider Art
Term coined by the English art historian Roger Cardinal in 1972, the year in which he published the homonymous text. Even by the name, one understands how the historian shifted hiss attention, compared to Dubuffet, to the position of the artists as to the system, giving therefore a more flexible definition dealing with a wider variety of productions. Outsider implies an inside and an outside, therefore a margin: whoever is outside is out of the official art.
The outsiders work for themselves, obsessed with the desire to create a personal world with the means at their disposal, far from the aesthetic aims of traditional art.
Other terms often associated with these creations are "Art outside the norms" (Michel Ragon, 1983), "Raw Art" (John Maizels, 1989), "Création franche" (Gérard Sendrai, 1989), "Required art" (Alessandra Ottieri , 1997), "Irregular Art" (Bianca Tosatti, 2006), "Arte Margivagante" (from marginal + extravagant, Juan Antonio Ramirez, 2006).
Today the story of the aesthetic recognition of the Outsider Art has begun to rewrite a chapter in the history of contemporary art.