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Preview: The Outsider Art Fair in New York

This afternoon, amidst installation, I had a look around New York’s Outsider Art Fair, which officially opens tomorrow at the old Dia building in Chelsea on West 22nd Street. There’s much to see!

The fourth floor features not only some paintings by Aleister Crowley (newly discovered from a 1920s trip to Sicily) at Marion Harris gallery, of New York, but also great stuff by Syrian artist Sabhan Adam at Paris’s Polad-Hardouin Gallery, and a long Henry Darger scene at New York’s Ricco Maresca Gallery. Also don’t miss Arte del Pueblo’s booth (another New York exhibitor), where the collection of director Jonathan Demme represents about half of its offerings, including works by Minnie Evans and the Haitian painter and voodoo priest Hector Hyppolite.

The third floor has a big Judith Scott ball sculpture at Oakland, California’s Creative Growth Art Center (she’s currently the subject of a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, which is open through March 29), and a number of tantric paintings at Paris’s Galerie Herve Perdriolle Oaf. Philadelphia’s Fleisher/Ollman gallery also has a superb work by John Patrick McKenzie called Neil Diamond Likes Politics (Neil Diamond) (2007).

On the second floor (the first for the fair, if you start at the bottom), be sure to check out “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day,” a booth curated by Jay Gorney and Anne Doran (senior editor at ARTnews) that features the work of Melvin Way, Emery Blagdon, Adolf Wölfli, Mark Lombardi, and the Philadelphia Wireman. Brooklyn’s Winter Works on Paper has gangster line-ups, the artist listed as “Chicago Police Department.”

At Kent Fine Art, while I was visiting, the artist John Brill was installing a cluttered scene against one wall. He turned on a video. “It’s a horrible video,” he said, gesturing to the toys before the television that played it. “That’s why there’s a captive audience. Also intriguing were hand-painted movie posters from Ghana at Los Angeles’s Ernie Wolfe Gallery.

Check some highlights out below—or see it in person through Sunday, February 1, 2015.

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