By Sarah Gold | New York Times
In the almost 70 years since the term was first coined, “outsider art” — a somewhat dismissive designation for the work of self-taught artists — has been steadily finding its way inside the mainstream art world. These days, it is no longer unusual to see pieces by artists with no formal training displayed in even the most prestigious venues; just the past two years have seen such works included in exhibitions mounted by the Venice Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art, thePhiladelphia Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, among others.
For much of the past half-century, though, the significance of self-taught art was largely recognized only by a few enthusiasts. One of these was the collector William Louis-Dreyfus, who in the 1970s first encountered outsider art — a category that at the time lumped together works made by a wide cross-section of the disenfranchised: former slaves, prisoners, the mentally ill. Realizing their importance, Mr. Louis-Dreyfus began adding self-taught works to his already formidable art collection, eventually acquiring some 500 pieces. In July, some of those collected pieces were unveiled at the Katonah Museum of Art in an exhibition titled “Inside the Outside: Five Self-Taught Artists from the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation.” See full article>>