- Hardcover: 168 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press (November 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300101732
- ISBN-13: 978-0300101737
- Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.8 x 12 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,984,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Vernacular Visionaries: International Outsider Art Hardcover – November 1, 2003
From the Publisher
This book is the catalogue for an exhibition at the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe (October 31, 2003 to summer 2004). Published in association with the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe
About the Author
John Beardsley is Director of Garden and Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks.
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That inner space is immense and uncharted, a soulful realm, inhabited by the lost and the wounded, the guardians and the protectors, disturbing visions, ecstatic experiences. It teems with animal, anthropomorphic and vegetable spirits, images both exalted and unhinged. It stretches to the furthest reaches of human imagination, and as it stretches, it accommodates—and sometimes consoles —the troubled minds that are wandering there.
This book tracks these extraordinary artists as they struggle through labyrinths built on ideas beautiful and obsessive. Following threads of madness, revelation, confusion, longing and loss, we feel the immediacy of their singular worlds. The art is talismanic, prophetic, rife with symbols and signs. Made by recluses and savants and healers, it is iconic and has shamanic overtones. It’s weird—uncomfortably familiar and yet utterly strange. It challenges and persuades, and it has much to say about the realms of pure creativity, and the healing, freedom and/or redemption that raw creative power can bring about.
The essays that accompany the art are sincere and searching. Several of the writers take pains to establish the background from which such artists have sprung—not just the high creativity or the psychological trauma or the societal dislocation that caused the initial impulse toward artistic expression, but the cultural origins and spiritual forces that shaped the soul whose deepest imagery we are witnessing. Randall Morris, writing about Martin Ramirez , is as sensitive to Martin’s dilemma as he is to the wind blowing across his own face as he sits in the hills of Los Altos where Ramirez was born, attempting to unravel that great artist’s enigma.
This is a well-made book, with excellent photographs and careful attention given to layout and design. Overall, it offers an amazing glimpse into the lives of eight inspired artists and is a welcome contribution to the outsider art genre.