Outsider Art Fair
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New York 2018

OAF Talks

"The Raw and the Cooked: Outsider Art Environments and Installation Art"

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
7:00 PM
Ace Hotel New York
20 W 29th St
New York, NY 10001

RSVP to: info@outsiderartfair.com

Exploring the relationship between Outsider Art environments and contemporary art installations, “The Raw and the Cooked” considers the similarities and differences in these highly imaginative realms. Taking OAF’s Curated Space project related to the visionary environment Pasaquan as the point of departure, our panel discussion presents the polished perspective of two exhibiting artists, who are actively engaged in creating public and installation art, and two exceptional art professionals, who are at the forefront of appreciating and preserving the passionate enterprises of under-recognized, self-taught artists.

Paul Laster
Art critic and curator
New York Desk Editor at ArtAsiaPacific and a Contributing Editor at Whitehot Magazine for Contemporary Art and artBahrain, Laster is a frequent contributor to Time Out New York, GARAGE Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Observer and Cultured Magazine. He recently co-curated (with Renée Riccardo) the exhibition Maker, Maker, a group show of contemporary works that blurred the boundary between fine art and craft, at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York.

Saya Woolfalk
Multimedia artist
A graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Whitney Independent Study Program, Woolfalk has had solo shows at the Everson Museum of Art, Sugar Hill Children’s Museum and Storytelling, Chrysler Museum of Art, Montclair Art Museum and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects. She recently completed a video installation commission for the Seattle Art Museum, and is currently working on a solo museum exhibition commission for the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City. Woolfalk also organized OAF’s Curated Space project, featuring artwork by Eddie Owens Martin.

Karen Patterson
Curator, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Folklore Studies at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, and her Masters of Art Administration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Patterson joined JMKAC in 2012. Focused on the Arts Center’s premier collection of folk art, self-taught art and artist environments, she incorporates these works into curatorial projects that explore a variety of contemporary themes. Current JMKAC exhibitions feature the art environments of Emery Blagdon, who turned a dilapidated shed into a sculptural installation he dubbed The Healing Machine, and Loy Bowlin, who styled himself as “The Original Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Michael McFalls
Director of Pasaquan and Professor, Columbus State University, Georgia
A practicing artist, professor of art and director of the visionary art environment Pasaquan, McFalls received his BFA in fine arts from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio, and his MFA from the University of California at Davis. Formerly a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Gothenburg and artist-in--residence at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, since 2014 McFalls has managed Pasaquan, a fascinating 7-acre art site developed by an eccentric folk artist named Eddie Owens Martin, who called himself St. EOM.

Ellen Harvey
Multidisciplinary artist
Known for her ambitious institutional installations at such venues as the Barnes Foundation, Turner Contemporary, Bass Museum of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of Art, Harvey is a 2016 recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in the Visual Arts and a graduate of the Whitney Independent Study Program. Exhibiting internationally since 1998, she currently has a solo show at the Children's Museum of the Arts in New York and is working on a permanent installation commissions for the renovation of the Miami Beach Convention Center and South Station in Boston.

The Ace Hotel New York lobby will also be the site of two exhibitions, as part of their month-long partnership with OAF New York:

Ike Morgan: History Lesson

Friday, Jan 5 - Wednesday, Jan 31
Reception: Tuesday, Jan 16 6 - 8 PM

Ike Morgan (b. 1958) is a self-taught artist from Austin, Texas who spends almost every waking moment creating. He began his artistic career while being treated for schizophrenia as a long-term patient at the Austin State Hospital, where he created thousands of haunting works using found materials, cardboard, and paper. As he often says, painting and drawing “ help to pass the time away.”

Morgan routinely sources subject matter from found printed materials and photography. Early on at the hospital, he found a book of United States Presidents which informed the core of his output. Additionally, he produces surreal interpretations of the Mona Lisa, stylized depictions of Santa Claus and religious icons, erotic works based on Playboy and Penthouse centerfolds, and colorful works based on nature books and Dr. Seuss stories.While no longer living at the Austin State Hospital, Morgan continues to create obsessively —his entire world revolving around art. Free of hesitation or second-guessing, he works intuitively with a flow unencumbered by self-doubt.

Ike Morgan: History Lesson is co-presented by SHRINE (New York) and Webb Gallery (Texas) in conjunction with Ace Hotel New York and the 2018 Outsider Art Fair. The exhibition surveys works from all eras of Morgan’s production, with a special focus on historical subjects and individuals.

Ike Morgan is featured in the documentary film, MAKE, along with three other American self-taught artists- Hawkins Bolden, Judith Scott and Prophet Royal Robertson, viewable at: shrine.nyc/make.

Shear Joy: Scissors from the Collection of Harley J. Spiller
Reception: Tuesday Jan 16, 2018, 6PM

Scissors are among the most ancient human tools and just about every museum counts a pair or two among their treasures. Most everyone over the age of five owns a pair of these everyday artifacts, but collector Harley J. Spiller has taken things a step further, assembling a collection of close to a thousand different scissors representing a wide range of design, innovative function, and style. Collection highlights include a five-foot tall pair of hand-carved wooden scissors, four-bladed Korean kitchen shears (with cleaning brush), dozens of miniature and anthropomorphic scissors, and bronze seed-cracking scissors, the only pair that opens from the top. This month, our Gallery Annex hosts a sampling of items from the archive as part of our month-long partnership with Outsider Art Fair.

Harley J. Spiller is a museum professional focused on collections. His work has been exhibited in museums worldwide, from the Museo de Bellas Artes in Caracas, Venezuela to the American Museum of Natural History. Collections built by Spiller are now in the permanent collections at the New York State Museum, The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, the University of Toronto Scarborough, and the Du Sable Museum of African-American History. "Keep the Change," his Princeton Architectural Press book on his collection of unusual coins and banknotes, was selected by the New York Times as a top 10 art book of 2015.

The Gallery Annex is a small space for big ideas. Conveniently located by the Lobby’s bar, the cabinet has housed all sorts of eclectic and intriguing matter ranging from contemporary ceramics to radical political ephemera, from rock collections to fiber arts.

Espace Parrainée

Responding to Pasaquan Organized by Saya Woolfalk

Visionary Art is a grassroots form of self-expression and the ideas put forth by visionary artists can be powerful tools for imagining alternative realities. 

In 1957, interracial marriage was illegal in twenty-four states in the United States, including Georgia.  This was also the year Eddie Owens Martin (St. EOM) began to build Pasaquan, an elaborate complex of visionary art and architecture in Columbus, Georgia.  St. EOM created a future utopian world called Pasaquan,  in which all cultures and ethnic groups come together and connect with the earth and the universe.   

He built a temple to a culturally hybridized world in a place and time when many Americans were violently unreceptive to this perspective.  What compelled St. EOM to build such a complex?  How was he able to project his progressive views into the imaginations of his neighbors and what methods did he use so they might consider his utopia? 

My curated booth at the Outsider Art Fair is the first in a series of projects in which I engage St EOM’s ideas and work.  The resulting installations are an attempt to understand the strategies St EOM used to communicate his vision of Pasaquan with the people of Columbus, Georgia. St. EOM engaged visitors with the use of fortune telling and astrology.  The booth at the Outsider Art Fair is furnished with objects from St. EOM’s original fortune telling parlor.  This includes mandalas borrowed from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center as the starting point for site-specific wall drawings and an unpainted bust from St. EOM’s workshop, which I will activate with video projections. 

At the center of this installation is a piece developed with astrologer Alice Sparkly Kat. Audience members will be invited to have their charts read and participate in workshops that decolonize through astrology. 

Responding to Pasaquan is curated by Saya Woolfalk and is presented with support from the John Michael Kohler Art Center and Pasaquan at Columbus State University.
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