Beyond the Fray displays the work of eleven artists, all who use texture in unexpected ways. From delicate white-on-white constructions to sumptuous layers of paint on collaged pieces, this show demonstrates the range of the visually tactile. Texture creates experiences and reactions. It is intimate, tempting one to touch. It breathes life into the iconic.
CANDYCE BROKAW, who started the Survivor's Art Foundation in 1997, is an artist uses texture, through pattern and thickly applied tube paint, to give power to her expressive works. Her themes relate visual density to emotional experience, stemming from therapeutic explorations of physical abuse.
ANNETTE CORDS, born in Germany, has shown extensively, here and in Europe. The daughter of a physicist, she has been drawn to fundamentals of science while pulling materials for collages from daily life. She states, "Through the physicality of painting and the application of a process, I explore themes present in our fluid and interconnected world. Looking at the ways technology and biology interact and influence one another, I draw on the reciprocal relationship between the organic and non-organic and let it shape my work."
ANDREA COTE, a multi-disciplinary artist, has shown her work coast-to-coast, including numerous museums. She was recently awarded the 2009 Studio Immersion Fellowship from the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. In her work Andrea questions the boundaries that have traditionally divided artistic disciplines, taking on multiple roles using her own body as subject, object, and medium. In these works, texture varies from actual inclusion of hair, to its visual translation, to printing directly from her body. She will also execute a performance piece at the opening. Visitor participation is encouraged.
CUI FEI Growing up in China, Cui witnessed radical, social and cultural change. Using the textures of thorns and tendrils to create implied manuscripts, she turns to nature as the origin of universality. She states, "In response to a continually changing outside world, I seek the underlying essence of our lives, something that is real and permanent, which cannot be altered by social, political, cultural, or geographic conditions."
PAULINE GALIANA, from France, now lives and works in New York. Galiana describes her work as a kind of "survival kit". In an act of willful economy, she recasts and recycles pieces from her own work. Her sticker collages record the passing consumption of food, medicine and culture, in an intense and time-consuming way. She helps the ephemeral to survive.
MARIETTA HOFERER, a German-born, U.S.A.- based artist subtly uses tape and light pencil lines to explore possibilities of the grid, with the hints of serendipity. Isabelle Dervaux, curator at the Morgan Library & Museum describes Hoferer's work, "Marietta Hoferer's collages made out of clear tape are based on a regular, modular composition of symmetrical patterns arranged into a grid format. Yet, minute differences in the size and texture of the tape affect its reflectivity, producing endless variations in the luminosity of the drawing, whose surface changes constantly under the eyes of the viewer like the surface of water."
DANIELLE JACQUI's vibrant drawings and textile collages fill every available space with color and texture as she depicts utopian visions. She can easily spend three years on the same piece of embroidery. Her artistic creations spread to every part of her environment, filling walls, wrapping chairs and encasing whole buildings. A French "l'Artiste Singulier, she is an ardent feminist who has shown extensively in France and is included in the Folk Art Museum and American Visionary Art Museum.
ROSELINE KOENER, a Belgian artist influenced by African art, forms textured collages of fabric and paper that seem fully spontaneous bursts of color and joy. But this expressiveness is rooted in a deep knowledge of art history and archeology, groomed since childhood as a collector's daughter. With international sensibility and exposure, she focuses on sharing insights, sparking spirituality, and fostering the creative impulse. Her works are visceral; the textures sensual.
PATRICIA LEIGHTON, a Scottish artist now living in the U.S.A., has been creating major site-specific public art commissions in the United States and Europe since the 1980's. Influenced by the natural formations of the Scottish hills, mountains, and ancient sites, she seeks that same intangible presence in her sculptures. The works are pulled from the past and filled with animistic energy. The pieces in this show reflect the monumentality of their inspiration, but with humbleness of woven textures..
DEBBIE MA, born in the Philippines, is both a graphic and fine artist, whose designs have graced the products of most of the leading cosmetic companies. Ma takes basic shapes and, through the power of her hand, imbues them with variation and strength. After having studied in the Philippines, Parsons School of Design, School of Visual Arts, Barcelona and at the China Institute, her works reflect a respect for the knowledge and skill of the masters, but then take on an abstraction all her own.
MARIANNE WEIL, an educator and sculptor, develops rich texture and original patinas in her bronze sculptures executed using the lost-wax system. Her unique works often reference ancient cultures, such as Neolithic sites. Weil has received numerous awards for her abstract bronze sculptures, including a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant, and most recently, a competitive commission for the Sisters of St. Dominic and the Water Mill Village Association.
January 17, 2010
"Nothing is Black + White"
"Nothing is Black + White": Art by Outsider, Visionary, Art Singulier, Marginal and Intuitive Artists, December -- Feb. 2007/2008
The art world has long been aware of the singular beauty and intensity of outsider art, also known as art brut work by self-taught artists, or those with mental disabilities. These are artists working outside the mainstream, historically having little or no contact with art galleries and museums.
Outsider art has its patrons and admirers. Several art galleries now specialize in this type of work, and for more than a decade an Outsider Art Fair has taken place annually in New York City. (This year's runs from Jan. 25 to 27.) There is also a major museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the work of outsider artists of various degrees of self-tutelage.
Outsider art tends to be obsessive, repetitive and illustrational, depicting offbeat ideas, intricate fantasy worlds or symbolic representations of emotional and mental states. Graphic sexual imagery is common. So, too, is a high degree of spontaneity, for much of this art is made without preliminary designs or conscious thought. The artist simply sits down and begins to draw or paint.
These qualities are very much in evidence in "Nothing Is Black + White" at Art Sites in Riverhead, an astonishing exhibition of the work of 17 outsider artists from around the world, including Long Island. Impressive in its range, startling in its beauty, this is one of the best shows of the fall and winter season to date. It is also the largest, most densely hung and ambitious exhibitions ever mounted at this plucky little alternative art space. There are more than 100 works on view.
The exhibition is a kind of lucky accident; it was never intended to be like this. Initially, Glynis Berry, the gallery director, invited Candyce Brokaw, an outsider artist based in Quogue, to have a solo exhibition here. Uncertain about the idea of showing alone, Ms. Brokaw asked a few outsider artist friends to join her. They, in turn, asked their friends, and so on. Ms. Berry and Ms. Brokaw kept adding works until the gallery was packed.
The result is an incredible selection of recent works by many of today's leading outsider artists, among them Gerard Sendrey, a French na ve or outsider artist of considerable renown. An office worker until he was almost 40, he gave it up to devote himself to visionary painting. Showing here are some of his recent paintings of figures made of dense, meshed lines in black ink on white paper. They are vaguely reminiscent of woodblock printing.
Ody Saban is another well-known artist on the outsider art circuit. A kind of nomad, she was born in Istanbul to Sephardic Jewish parents and was educated in a convent there. Later she lived in Israel, Egypt, France and the United States. Her works depict an inner world of dreams and fantasy, often with a strong sexual undercurrent, as revealed in two very impressive drawings showing here; each depicts two immense nude figures embracing.
Seeing the work of artists like Ms. Saban and Mr. Sendrey is probably reason enough to visit this show. But equally impressive is the artwork of several lesser-known artists, among them John Levien, Peter Marbury and Ms. Brokaw, all natives of Long Island. Mr. Marbury's steel sculptures are especially interesting and beautiful, though he is not, strictly speaking, an outsider artist, having spent some time studying at the Art Students League of New York.
The show's real revelation, however, is Uncle Frank Verni, another Long Islander. Mr. Verni, who died in 1991, served with the Marines in the Pacific during World War II and then returned to his home town of Baldwin. He got a job making posters and fliers for the Town of Hempstead and began creating paintings of faces and figures using paint mixed with Elmer's glue. About 85 of his glue paintings were salvaged from a trash bin by a nephew, George Cork Maul, an East End musician and composer, after Mr. Verni's death.
According to Ms. Berry, this exhibition is the first time that Mr. Verni's works have been exhibited in a gallery. They are innocuous-looking but also sort of mesmerizing, which is saying something, given the caliber of the artists in this show. At any rate, the dozen or so of his works on display here reveal a true, talented outsider artist who must be considered a remarkable new find. I look forward to seeing more exhibitions of his highly original work.
March 9, 2008
European Outsider Art Fair (EOAF)
European Outsider Art Fair (EOAF) scheduled for Vienna, May 2008 in the Austrian National Library.
Pasadena Productions founder and impresario Jan Kiewiet de Jonge, Teppels Art Studio founder Huib van den Wijngaard, and Johan Westenburg are proud to present the debut of the European Outsider Art Fair.
European Outsider Art Fair (EOAF Vienna 2008) will take place in the heart of Vienna in the Austrian National Library and will be the premier forum for specialists in the fields of Outsider Art, Art Brut, Na ve Art.
Artists A Gallery
A Gallery is a collection of self taught, visonary, outsider artists. The artists represented include: Ross Brodar, Gerard Sendrey, Anne Grgich, Charles Lassiter, Candyce Brokaw, Hans Verschoor, Daniel Belardinelli, Howard Desnos and many more.
March 9, 2008
CANVAS MAGAZINE: "Beauty Heals"
A Riverhead exhibition will help people in need.
by By Joanne Schenker Posted February 2008
In 1997, artist Candyce Brokaw established the Survivors Art Foundation (SAF, survivorsartfoundation.org) after recovering from a traumatic event. Brokaw found tremendous relief through art and poetry, and believed that by creating this nonprofit organization she could help many others to move beyond their physical or mental disabilities. The foundation helps empower trauma survivors spanning physical and domestic violence, rape, war-related trauma, post traumatic stress disorder, AIDS, cancer, MS, mental illness, and other disabilities. It creates an atmosphere of acceptance via Internet art galleries, outreach programs, exhibits, and publications. Knowledge is power, Brokaw explains. "We trust that through educational awareness and outreach programs we will stop the cycle of abuse, particularly toward women and children."
Throughout the month of February, SAF in collaboration with The Art Sites Gallery in Riverhead will be presenting an exhibit entitled "Nothing Is Black + White." The artists featured include Brokaw, as well as Donna Balma, Jim Bloom, Ross Brodar, Paul Gasoi, Ann Grgich, Danielle Jacqui, John Levien, Mark May, Peter Marbury, Ody Saban, Gerard Sendrey,Cynthia Lund Torrell,Uncle Frank Verni.
"The exhibit explores art created outside the mainstream by people for whom art is both a passion and a survival tool for dealing with life's circumstances," says Brokaw. Nonconventional in its approach, the exhibit is mainly comprises "outsider art" also known as self-taught art. The artists, with little or no formal training, craft primarily through stream-of-consciousness techniques. In the 1920s, this method became popular among surrealists, and was coined "art brut," or raw art, by the French pop artist Jean Dubuffet in 1948. In the mid 1900s, it was mainly limited to non-professionals working outside aesthetic norms, such as mental patients and prisoners. Today, outsider art lends itself to many different genres and is considered quite valuable.
A portion of the proceeds from the upcoming show, curated by Candyce Brokaw and Art Sites owner, Glynis Berry, will benefit SAF. As Brokaw emphatically describes the show, "It is a wild exhibition encompassing more than 600 works of art and sculpture from both Long Island artists and those around the world. It's an installation that grabs your attention as you walk through the door."
"Nothing is Black + White"
Art Sites Gallery, 651 West Main Street(Route 25), Riverhead, NY
Gallery hours:Thursday to Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
March 9, 2008
CANVAS MAGAZINE: "My Canvas"
My canvas: Candyce Brokaw
by By Joanne Schenker Posted February 2008
Native Long Islander Candyce Brokaw began painting as a healing tool to cope with the overwhelming shock of rape and abuse. "My artwork created a safe state to release feelings that could not be articulated," she explains. Since this awakening 15 years ago, Brokaw has never looked back. "I don't plan a drawing or painting; it comes from within my internal world," she says.
Completely self-taught, she doesn't work with a brush, but instead uses squeeze tubes of acrylic paints to create a series of dots or lines and applies markers and pens as well. Each piece contains intricate detail and imagery. Says Brokaw, "Characters sometimes resemble family members, as well as animals and creatures that are surrogates assuming peoples' identities."
March 9, 2008
"Between the Lines": artists using words
"Between the Lines": artists using words
651 West Main Street (Route 25),Riverhead, New York 11901 631- 591-2401
Words inspire art. Art incorporates words. Art speaks. Words derive from language. Language suggests communication. Art communicates. Words can become noise. Words can lose their meaning. A word can trigger emotion. Words can be clever. Words can be hidden. Words can span generations. Words can isolate generations. Words and images together can mean more. Words can become image.
The artists in this group show all use words or symbols in their art. The words can be personal, speak to the human condition, or reference universality. Using metal, wood, and paint, these artists explore the physical nature of verbal expression
Ms. Berry seized the word as a unifying theme for the four outsider and
eight traditionally trained artists she invited to exhibit. What surprised her
was the utter diversity of the works,most of them rising from the depths
of personal experience, but ranging in styles from aggressively bold and
raw to carefully drawn, delicate and controlled. Her insightful installation
carefully balances highly charged works with those that penetrate subtly:
a transition from angst to resolve that allows the pieces to relate comfortably
to one another, and to the viewer. Jim Bloom's paintings hang in surly
contrast to Ms. Brokaw's fl amboyant snake. He is an outsider artist from
Philadelphia, who for years battled with substance abuse and neurological
problems. His rough figures, torn first from life, then from cardboard, are
presented as collaged paintings with added text appropriated from overheard
conversations or white media noise. The juxtapositions are rife with
human scars. "It Occurred to Brandy," for example, isolates an individual
from a group with disturbing text, written in the artist's unsteady hand. It
reads: "It occurred to Brandy that her entire sense of self was composed of
six or so people who thought she was ridiculous." New York artist Donna Maria de
Creeft also uses uneasy imagery and words in her "Dog Face" series, but the
text connections, such as "Confused? Blame it on evolution," are more
automatic, surreal, and not intended to suggest specific meanings. Sue O'Donnell, a designer and art teacher from Pennsylvania, offers more oblique glimpses of a private world. Her minimal arrangements are
visually and psychologically sparse here, dense there. "Past, 2002" is an
"experimental time-line book" consisting of five back-lit glass boxes with
cut-up words and phrases, printed on translucent film, sandwiched between
multiple panes of glass. They purport to tell a story about past lovers and
acquaintances. But these skinny film strips, clumped together like an army
of swarming insects, overlap, merge and stick, making it impossible for the
viewer to unscramble her secrets. Ms. Berry has exhibited these
works alongside pieces by New Yorker Annette Cords, whose delicate,
elusive paintings and multimedia works are similarly layered, visually
and conceptually. Some artists' texts resonate with
timely messages. "Country-Wide Sub Prime," by Pennsylvania outsider artist David "Big Dutch" Nally, offers sharp, sardonic insights through a sea
of childlike icons: rows of blue-collar row houses, factories, cigarettes, hamburgers and maps interspersed with phrases that target tough realities for
hard-working people: "country wide sub prime living," "sold out," "run off."
For Garance of New Suffolk, overwhelming expenses recorded on
ledger paper are the backdrop for a cartoon-like woman who grips her
head. The title words "Don't Worry" are penciled repeatedly alongside the
figure, partially obliterating the insidious list of accumulated debt.
A number of artists explore writing as a personal form of drawing, something
Plato called "the geometry of the soul." Southampton artist Darlene
Charneco's calligraphy recalls the firm but elegant writing of the ancients. Her
script is written with nails, driven in different configurations and depths into
painted acrylic boards. If the rigor of her process seems harsh, it is mitigated
by the gentle patterns and rhythms that echo ancient Dead Sea scrolls, archaic
text to be decoded or Braille. The text is a cryptogram declaring hope, but it is not necessary to decipher the message; its visual poetry and cadences speak
lyrically on their own. Southold artist Ellen Wiener also makes spiritual connections with her unfolding "Monastery Notes," inspired by medieval
manuscripts. So does Marianne Weil of Orient, whose bronze models for
"The Seed Is in the Ground, Now May We Rest in Hope" represent an installation commissioned by the Sisters of St. Dominic for the Villa Maria Convent in Water Mill. Ross Brodar, from Brooklyn, captures the soul of the street. The ever-defiant artist (noted by the Wall Street Journal for exhibiting
his works in a truck outside the annual Outsider Art Fair because organizers
refused him the first year) employs a collision of numbers and script
scrawled in Japanese, Chinese, English and, one suspects, a few invented
languages. The eclectic calligraphy of "NYC" gobbles up his imagery
because his subject, the cacophony of New York City streets, is best
served by screeching sound, conveyed through his bold graffiti.
Scott McIntire is graphically savvy. Though he reduces his lettering to
formal visual elements, and keeps his words impersonal, he nevertheless
subverts meanings by cleverly manipulating familiar elements of commercial
art. Each letter of his piece titled "Fresh" is written in different colors
and with generic fonts across a painting that appropriates a '50s diner ad,
with its jukebox record, cup of coffee, Betty Crocker-type woman and
large plate of cherry pie. By allowing the word to dominate and animate
the composition, he suggests that the vintage pie and all that goes with it is,
in fact, quite stale. A final piece of sculpture made
from a vintage typewriter, smashed to a pulp, glued to a board of printed
material and globbed with paint is by a psychiatrist, Michael Aronoff of
Flanders and New York City. "At a Loss for Words" was inspired, he says,
"by patients at a loss to express themselves." They might want to see this
exhibit and, perhaps, take heart from Marcel Duchamp.
Candyce Brokaw is a compulsive artist. Seated on a black couch in her humble, hidden Quoge home, it's hard to tell where the art ends and the house begins; And this is exactly what she wants. She shows me pictures of her dream home - Danielle Jacqui's overwhelmingly colorful and ornate abode in France, a piece of outsider art itself, becoming a museum.
"There's sparkles all over my bed because I lay there and make art while watching TV, reading magazines. I can't stop making art."
Currently, her house is filled with not only the finished pieces and remnants of her own art, but also that of a plethora of other artists. These pieces are at her house because Candyce is the curator of the second annual Outsider Art in the Hamptons, an exhibit at the Galeria BelAge in Westhampton Beach.
Outsider Art is virtually synonymous with Art Brut, except that Art Brut generally refers to, or at least originates from, the art of crazy people, whereas the crazy card is not mandatory for an outsider artist. But it certainly helps: an outsider artist is self-taught. His or her art is a deeply embedded stream of consciousness.
"It's absolutely the purest art. It's not adulterated or anything. I mean, I appreciate Klimt and the masters, but there's nothing like the intensity of Outsider Art. It can be dark or funny or simple, there's such a range, each piece of art is its own," Brokaw said.
Her own art is actually dark and funny and simple, all at once.
"I'm not conscious of my inspiration so I learn about myself and my past through art. It's like a 'Where's Waldo' gone crazy - there's hidden aspects. Even hidden names. 'Sexy' is a reference to my mother."
The show will also feature art from many Outsider Art masters, including Ody Saban, a Paris-based artist, originally from Istanbul, who paints elaborate pieces of art singulier. Saban has been featured in Raw Vision magazine and her pieces carry a hefty price tag these days, but the Westhampton Beach show is making most pieces affordable (the prices at the show range from $50 to $12,000). Many of the artists exhibiting in Westhampton are also featured in the annual Outsider Art Fair at the Puck Building in downtown Manhattan, which has become an increasingly popular and notable exhibit.
Somewhat outside the lines of Outsider Art, the Westhampton Beach show will also be featuring famous folk artists. Like the outsider artists, the folk artists are self-taught. They include the late Mose Tolliver, considered a genius in the field of Southern Folk Art as well as Purvis Young, who paints a diverse canvas all on a literal canvas of found remnants in poverty-stricken communities.
Embedded in the rococo paintings and artwork of all shapes and sizes was always at least one message, unique to the artist, perhaps, but created as if the artist were letting you in on a joke or a bit of an inspirational idea through their heavily crafted artwork. For example, although I have never met Missionary Mary Proctor, her bright blue painting featuring bits of a shiny red Coca Cola can with "Amazing Grace" lyrics gave me a knowing smile.
To make matters more interesting, the show will also feature biographies of all of the artists exhibiting at it. The life stories of the mentally impaired, the Southern working class, the survivors of traumatic events, and those who just feel an innate inspiration to create will help the fantastical artistic renderings come to life on the canvas.
Brokaw, a full time East Ender and mother who raised her family out here, said: "Modern Art is untouchable, and Outsider Art is getting huge." Celebrity collectors include Robin Williams and John Waters (which may help you understand the whimsical intensity of Outsider Art). With pieces as creatively crafted as those in the show, I suspect Outsider Art will soon be "untouchable" as well. So this show might be one of your last chances to check out and cash in on the purest form of unadulterated art. That, and an ornate, colorful room with complimentary champagne and a myriad of artistic voices, singing and screaming.
- Michael Vilensky
The 2nd Annual Outsider Art in the Hamptons Show runs August 3rd through September 14th. The reception and party is open to public on Saturday, August 11th, from 6 to 9 p.m. Call (631) 288 - 5082 for more information.