‘This Art Speaks to Me’: Audrey B. Heckler on Her Collection of Outsider Art at Sara Kay Gallery
For the first show in her new gallery in New York, dealer Sara Kay invited Audrey B. Heckler, a seasoned collector of outsider art, to display a selection of paintings, sculptures, and drawings from her collection of 500-plus works. “I usually miss them,” Heckler said of loaning pieces she has collected over the course of more than 20 years, “but Sara is very persuasive and appreciative.”
Heckler began building her collection after a trip to the Outsider Art Fair in 1993, when she found herself struck by the bright colors, strange figurations, and general quirkiness of the work she saw. “All this art speaks to me,” she said, “a lot more than other forms of art.”
While some of the work in “A Limitless Vision: The Collection of Audrey B. Heckler” has been exhibited before, this is the first occasion when “so many pieces have been out at the same time,” Heckler said.
Walking around the new Sara Kay Gallery—in an East Village town house with exposed brick and wooden floors that had previously been home to Rivington Arms—Heckler explained her interest in the art and artists included in the show. Click the slide show for works from the show, accompanied by commentary from Heckler.
Adolf Wölfli, Untitled (Kathedrale-Blatt aus Heft No. 15), 1918.
"Wölfli uses the same symbols in all of his work. He's telling a story here about himself and a saint also named Adolph."
"This work was owned for years by a United States agency and travelled to Eastern Europe, where it went to a lot of different shows all over the world. I think it depicts a wise man on a camel. I love the light that comes through the holes on it."
TYLER STROH/COURTESY SARA KAY GALLERY
James Castle, Untitled (db sided), no date.
"His family had a general store [in Montana] and he took a lot of the material for his work from there."