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Outsider Art: Spontaneous Alternatives (World of Art) Paperback – April 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: World of Art
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1 edition (April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500203342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500203347
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This book represents the best-informed and most lucid account of Outsider Art at the turn of the century--a fascinating field which has recently begun to expand at an astonishing pace. -- Roger Cardinal

About the Author

Colin Rhodes is the author of Primitivism and Modern Art in the World of Art series.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David Grim on September 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This examination of outsider art begins with artist Jean Duboffet and his formation of the Art Brut movement in the mid-1940s. Duboffet's primary criterion for inclusion in the outsider category was that the artist had to exist outside of the prevalent culture of society. He amassed a huge collection of art that he culled initially from the works of children, and eventually from psychiatric patients. Colin Rhodes goes on to trace the pre-Art Brut history of appreciating the works of the "insane", and proceeds to document representative examples as well as the forces in society that brought attention to them. Rhodes also examines additional sources for outside art including artists working through spiritual mediums, self-taught visionaries creating obsessive environments, and people working outside the mainstream currents of power and culture.
Rhodes is even-handed while presenting the various schools of thought as well as their rationales concerning outsider art definitions. His writing is academic, and lacks any sense of humor, but is incredibly informative and representative. The book is beautifully crafted, with copious plates reproducing samples from various artists. Together with his academic pontifications, they are very illuminating and convey a full understanding of this broad subject. He also includes anecdotes about the lives of these artists that serve to enliven the experience of reading the book. If you are interested in 20th century art and beyond, and will resolve to be patient with the author's academic tone, I think you will really enjoy this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alfredo on April 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book offers great insight into Outsider Art, how it came to be appreciated and the liberating effect that it had on Modernism. For me it was interesting to learn that artists like Paul Klee, George Grosz and Cy Twombly may have been directly influenced by Art Brut. As others have mentioned, the text is academic and distant from the subject matter, but is nevertheless fascinating for anyone interested in art. The reproductions of the work are mainly used for reference and about half of them are in color. In other words, if you're looking for a coffee table book, you should look elsewhere (like 'Raw Creation: Outsider Art and Beyond').
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marsha L. Downey on May 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a collector of thrift store paintings, I was completely enthralled with this book! I couldn't put it down. I now look at my paintings with a new perspective. This book was able to validate many of my intuitive feelings about the creative process. Thank-you Colin Rhodes for this insightful look at some of the least understood of paintings!
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The writing is so light on the page and so small that I had a hard time reading the book. I think it has a lot of value but I just couldn't read it for very long at any one time. I intend to try again if I get better glasses.
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