At the Outsider Art Fair, which returned to New York this week after a two-year hiatus, there is no scene-stealing piece—and that attests to the strength of its presentations. Art—painted, woven, wired—can seen be seen in just about every corner of this fair, spilling out of a booth, crawling up the wall toward the ceiling, descending from above by strings, and sitting pretty on a tabletop. There’s a joyfully chaotic feeling to some sections, as if the dealers, visibly delighted to be back, could scarcely leave anyone home.
Around 65 galleries came out this year, which marks the fair’s 30th anniversary. Many brought new works or art from overlooked outsiders well past due for acclaim. At Andrew Edlin Gallery’s booth, for example, visitors packed in to see a suspended self-portrait by Tom Duncan and an atomic collage by the recently rediscovered cigar-roller-turned-artist Felipe Jesus Consalvos.
The veteran galleries have bigger booths by the entrance, and most brought the masters: Martín Ramírez, Henry Darger, Joseph E. Yoakum, William Hawkins. The extra space invites the crowd to slow down and really study the works. In particular, a book made of soot and saliva by James Castle, the enigmatic Idahoan, at Hirschl & Adler Modern benefits from close viewing.
Below is a look at some of the best booths at the New York fair, which runs through Sunday, March 6.