Outsider Art Fair 2017, Paris
The Outsider Art Fair (Paris edition) has really satisfied all tastes, from the big names of art brut to new discoveries and new participations.
For example, the Outsider Art Museum in Amsterdam contributed to “refresh” this edition bringing a number of very interesting artists. Attracted by a small drawing depicting the Amsterdam metro lines, I discovered a young artist, Lionel Plak, fascinated by logos, maps and schematic representations of the transport lines. In his colorful works, he organizes all station stops in a special way.
Derk Wessels, however, produces anthropomorphic figures, animals and landscapes. There were two drawings of human figures coloured and marked with strong lines.
Galerie Chave abducted most of the visitors (and me too, of course), with Michel Roux‘s china ink works: a series of letters, minutely framed, becoming symbols, deprived of their original meaning.
I ended up in Les Yeux Fertiles booth – which itself has a beautiful name – and, in addition to the small sculptures of A.C.M. and other wonders, I was struck by Hassan, a Senegalese homeless, operating in the streets of Barcelona, who made works of enclosed houses. These villas are made on small wooden boards taken from wine boxes, they are geometric, characterized by different colors. This works affect for the schematicity and their immediacy.
Galerie Hervé Courtaigne made me discover François Jauvion, not so much for the series of ironic “relics” as for two really funny drawings.
The first one comes from his encounter with André Robillard (André R. l’artiste brut, 2016, ink and watercolor on paper), a fresh narration by images of one of the greatest brut authors: four of his famous rifles are depicted on top and a number of other elements, as if they were instructions for mounting, are placed on the sheet like figurines, such as the pages of dolls to be cut. The other, similarly, represents the astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
Among Galerie Isola‘s works I particularly enjoyed the series of drawings by Hubert Riedler, a prolific illustrator, not only on paper but also on the walls of his apartment, a real work of art. This makes me think of another “giant” work of Jean-Daniel Allanche, presented by Galerie Hervé-Pedriolle. Born in Sfax, Tunisia, he studied applied sciences in Lyon in the late 1950s. Since the 1970s he has taught physics at the University of Paris and at the same time has been a secret painter on the walls of his apartment in rue des Ciseaux, near Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A utopian universe, embodied on the walls of his places, in his most intimate space.
My quick explorations at the fair were then focused on Outside In, which brought its artists with a wall full of interesting works. I like a lot Albert with his black and white architecture, James Allison with small drawings and Aradne with his articulated sculptures which were sold like hotcakes, as did the Russian artists presented by Art Naive Gallery.
La Fabuloserie participated for the first time with its historical authors, among which Podestà, Italian like me, and Emile Raiter.
From Cavin-Morris I focused on Yoshiyasu Hirano, a young Japanese artist represented here by his latest series: drawings made of words taken from newspapers and magazines.
On the other side, I was fascinated by the small drawings of Melvin Way and the works by Susan Te Kahurangi King of Andrew Edlin‘s gallery.
I was there to represent Rizomi Art Brut and, having lived in person for the first four days, I remember the dazzling eyes of young and old people in front of Mattia Fiordispino’s airplanes, one of my favorites since I discovered him. Mattia plans airplanes starting a bit from reality and a bit from his imagination. He often makes a disproportionate amount of technical drawings to explain any component of the project, made in scale and with paper. His drawings explain how you should dress if you were driving that plane, what would be the perfect fit to deal with space missions and galactic adventures. The complexity and genius of his works is often concealed behind an apparent simplicity.
On our side we were surrounded by beautiful works, such as those proposed by Yukiko Koide, the Creative Growth Art Center (where I discovered the works of Latefa Noorzai), by Donald Ellis, who presented the drawings of American Indians which aroused great interest, and Escale Nomad.
And from our booth I could dream of taking home a work by Mary T. Smith, or the paintings by Ike Morgan, or even Prophet Royal Robertson, proposed by Shrine. Also interesting were the works on paper by Rev. George Kornegay, the creator of an environment based on directions given by God, which led him to use art to better communicate his religious messages.
I have forgotten many things, for example the works of Tarcisio Merati exhibited at Galleria Maroncelli 12 or Shuto Yoshida’s drawings exhibited by ATSUKOBAROUH arts drinks talks, or the “classical” works of the Galerie du Marché, or the curatorial space devoted to Daniel Cordier, still a myriad of other works that I have pinned here and there. I hope to keep them all, because there are so many nice things I have seen. The strength that a series of works has been able to convey to me is remarkable and necessary.
What I understand is that outsider art is looking for new boundaries and is slowly regenerating, seeking strength in many other ways.