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Raw Creation: Outsider Art & Beyond Hardcover – November 7, 1996
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Primitive, folk, naive, self-taught, outsider--branding art made outside of the conventional art world has become a tender task. What defines it? Who are its creators? No matter what you call it, there's no denying the visceral appeal of raw creativity unbound by rules, class, or education. Long-overdue attention is finally being awarded to self-taught artists--so often marginalized by race, economics, and social structure--allowing them to carve a solid place for themselves and their work in the world of high art. Maizel's book examines the history, study, and appreciation of this century's self-taught art, from the maniacal drawings of asylum inmates to found-object sculptures made by street people to homes surrounded by monoliths or covered in mosaic. The book bills itself as an introduction to the topic, but it is in fact quite a comprehensive study. It is divided into three sections: part one explores early studies of the work of the insane, Dubuffet and Art Brut; part two chronicles folk art and self-taught artists around the world; and part three delves into the world of visionary environments. The contemporary busyness of the design-small type, footnotes printed perpendicular to text, and seemingly random increases in font size can be frustrating, but plow through--the content is informative and inspirational.
From Library Journal
Maizels, editor of Raw Vision, the international magazine on outsider and self-taught art, details the history of this art and its still developing recognition. He also discusses the theories and definitions that have grown up around the works of visionaries, the insane, and other extraordinary artists. He further examines art expressed in mediums outside of the conventional art world and devotes a final section to large-scale visionary environments throughout the world. This work complements other recently published titles on outsider art (Pictured in My Mind, LJ 5/15/96; Contemporary American Folk Art, LJ 8/15/96) as it presents the discoveries and influential theories on this contemporary art with a broad international view. For specialized collections and larger contemporary collections.?Judith Yankeilun Lind, Roseland Free P.L., N.J.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
So, this book is very important to me. It has a very beautiful presentation and shows the most important artists that represent this movement as Dubuffet, the Art Brut collection in Lausanne or Ferdinand Cheval works and Neck Chand spetacular gardens and figurines. And it is particularly interesting to know what is going on outside USA and Europe.
The art itself is strange, inspirational, wonderful and disturbing by turns and there is a lot of it. Numerous well-known outsider artists are represented, from the US and abroad, with Wolfli and Darger getting ample coverage, and also many lesser-known but gifted visionaries are included. I can see that this book was a probably labor of love for John Maizels who has been a steadfast proponent of the self-taught and the marginal artist for several decades. But the art is eccentric enough without complicating the presentation with an eccentric layout. I’m really disappointed that I can’t comfortably read what he has to say. However, the art speaks for itself, and it is immediate and amazing.
For a better chance at gaining insight into this remarkable art, try books that concentrate on the individual artists, like Elka Spoerri’s considered work on Adolf Wolfli . For a more measured approach to a spectrum of artists, try Vernacular Visionaries or Beyond Reason, Works from the Prinzhorn Collection.