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‘Et Tu, Art Brute?’—a Project in Andrew Edlin Gallery’s Basement—Issues Open Call to Any and All

“Et Tu, Art Brute?,” a new exhibition that will open this fall in the basement of Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York, is accepting submissions from anyone who has work to send in, so long as it fits into an envelope no bigger than 16 by 20 inches. The work can be in any medium, and the submission process is open to artists of all statuses. As an announcement states: “everyone—no matter their background, ability, level of success or anonymity.”

The project was conceived by Edlin to address questions listed in that announcement: “What is the definition of an artist today? How does it feel to make art? Who is allowed to participate and on what terms?” Jamie Sterns, who will curate the exhibition, said it aims to push back against notions of hierarchy in the art world and the way that work is typically shown.

“The art world is so vetted,” Sterns said. “There’s such a system of who you know and what you know. We want to be like, ‘Everyone’s welcome—everyone can do this.’ ”

All of the work, no matter its source, will be priced the same. “Everything’s going to be priced at $200 regardless of who you are,” Sterns said. “You can be John Baldessari and everything’s $200. Artists get 50 percent.”

Sterns said she envisions a speakeasy vibe in the below-ground space—a “secret little den” filled with a mélange of works. The deadline for submission is October 15, and the show will open later that month or in early November. Envelopes can be dropped off at the gallery or sent to Et Tu, Art Brute? c/o Andrew Edlin Gallery, 212 Bowery, New York, NY 10012.  Works on view might rotate based on the volume of submissions received from an open call that aspires to be truly open.

“It’s not necessarily an outsider-artist show, but the spirit of ‘anybody can make art’ is how it’s connected to the gallery’s identity,” Sterns said referring to Edlin’s roster, which represents many self-taught figures, like Henry Darger, Thornton Dial, and others. The show, she added, will in any case be “fun, loose, and kind of funky.”

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