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Outsider Art Fair 2021

January 28 – February 7, 2021

a drawing by self-taught artist Jeanne Brousseau of multiple fantastical figures and animals

Jeanne Brousseau (b. 1952)

Yellow Eye, 2020

Ink, colored marker on paper, 12 x 18 in.

a small assemblage by Self-taught artist James Castle of a figure wearing a blue jacket

James Castle (1899-1977)

Construction (Figure in Blue-Green Jacket, Red Lips), about 1950

Assorted found papers, string, yarn red and black ink or felt pen, pencil, 12 1/2 x 6 1/4 in.

a drawing by self-taught artist Bill Traylor of a man walking with his hands and feet

Bill Traylor (1854-1949)

Drunk on All Fours (Man on All Fours), about 1939-42

Colored pencil on paper, 9 3/4 x 11 in.

a painting by self-taught artist Frank Walter of a cricket player

Frank Walter (1926-2009)

The Cricket Player, n.d.

Oil on paper, 17 1/2 x 11 3/8 in.

a painting by self-taught artist Purvis Young of an armed figure surrounded by buildings, police cars, a graveyard and protestors

Purvis Young (1943-2010)

Untitled, about 1972

Acrylic on wood, 96 x 48 in.

a colored pencil drawing by self-taught artist David Zeldis of a naked couple laying down in a cloud, holding hands

David Zeldis (b. 1952)

Lovers in the Clouds, 2012

Graphite and crayon on paper, 7 x 10 inches

Press Release

The 29th edition of the Outsider Art Fair will include a hybrid of online and in-person components, featuring 7 curated exhibitions across 5 gallery locations around Manhattan. As host to one of these curated exhibitions, Hirschl & Adler is pleased to announce To Be Human: The Figure in Self-Taught Art. This group exhibition is on view now and open to the public. You can make an appointment through ArtSVP, or simply stop by. To augment our in-person presentation for the Outsider Art Fair, our presence in the online viewing rooms will feature a broader range of available work from Jeanne Brousseau, James Castle, Edward Deeds, Bill Traylor, Frank Walter, Purvis Young and David Zeldis. To visit our virtual booth, please click here.


To Be Human: The Figure in Self-Taught Art

Since prehistoric times, with handprints on cave walls, the human form has stood at the center of the world’s artistic expression. The impulse to self-reflect, to know ourselves better, to capture our identity and project it to others is central to our being. By exploring a person’s outer and inner appearance through their shape, body language, facial expressions or costuming, an artist reveals and defines the human condition in ways both specific and universal.

Formal artistic training begins with a “life” class. The art establishment has deemed such an education essential. But the desire to know one’s self through art burns just as bright in the hearts of self-taught artists whose unique perspectives—unburdened by dogma, norms, or the constraints of the art market—free them to create human connections in totally original and unforeseen ways. These artists are the purview of this exhibition. There are no anatomy lessons or deep art historical educations among this group. They may be imprisoned, formerly enslaved, institutionalized, or profoundly disabled and virtually cut off from society. Many are lonely, isolated by choice or circumstance, driven by the need to find meaning, order, and truth in their reality, or their fantasy. Others are simply avid creators and makers whose remarkable skills and abilities go undeterred by their lack of training. All yearn to express through joy or fear, loss or triumph, levity or gravity, what it means to be human.


This Outsider Art Fair event is in collaboration with:

James Barron Art, Kent, Connecticut

Cavin-Morris Gallery, New York

Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

Marion Harris, New York

Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York

Shrine, New York

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