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One of New York's Most Popular Fairs Returns in February
Violetta Raditz, Untitled (kneeling performer), 1922, watercolor, crayon and metallic paint on pink paper, 11 x 16.75". Courtesy Luise Ross Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Last year, enthusiasm for the unique Outsider Art Fair prevailed over the turn in the economy, a snowstorm, a change in dates, and a move to a new venue. “At every turn this fair has a new clarity,” wrote Roberta Smith of The New York Times, “the art rises to the occasion…” This February 5 – 7, 2010, thirty-eight dealers will gather again at the fair’s new home, 7 West 34th Street, to bring together the largest and most promising Outsider Art Fair yet. The fair brings international attention to art created outside of main stream society visionary, primitive, self-taught and intuitive in nature. Besides exhibiting “a kind of outsider art Hall of Fame,” The New York Times also notes, “the fair harbors new talents of all kinds.”

The fair began eighteen years ago showcasing an otherwise unrecognized market at that time. Many of the founding dealers still exhibit in the fair, maintaining the original spirit and high quality of the first and foremost fair devoted to outsider art. These dealers include: Ames Gallery, Henry Boxer Gallery, Cavin-Morris Gallery, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, Carl Hammer Gallery, American Primi(ve Gallery, Galerie Bonheur, Gilley’s Gallery, Phyllis Kind/Ron Jagger Gallery, Marion Harris, Luise Ross Gallery, and Jimmy Hedges/Rising Fawn Folk Art Gallery.

The American Folk Art Museum will be organizing events and lectures throughout the fair and that week as a part of Outsider Art Week. In a special awards ceremony the museum will honor fair organizer Sanford Smith with the Contemporary Center’s Visionary Award, which recognizes major contributions to the world of outsider and folk art each year.

The Outsider Art Fair will run February 5 – 7, 2010 at 7 West 34th Street, near Fifth Avenue; this venue is wheelchair accessible and only a short distance from most major public transportation routes. Hours are: Friday, 11am – 8pm; Saturday, 11am – 7pm; and Sunday, 11am – 6pm. A special preview on Thursday, February 4, will offer a festive first look at the fair from 6pm – 9pm; admission to the preview is $50 and includes a one-time readmission. Admission during regular fair hours is $20 daily and $30 for a two-day pass; both include a catalog. Refreshments will be available at the café and bar.

With almost 40 exhibitors fromthe U.S. and abroad, the 2010 Outsider Art Fair will be the largest yet. Higlights will include:

• Galerie Bonheur (St. Louis,MO) will feature colorful works by the late Bahamian artist, Amos Ferguson (c.1920 – 2009) including Bird Bath.

• Henry Boxer Gallery (England) returns to the fair highligh3ng works by the self taught savant and calendar calculating whiz, George Widener of North Carolina.

• Fountain Gallery (New York), the not-for-profit coopera3ve run by and for artists living with mental illness, joins the Outsider Art Fair for the second year. Among the works in their booth will be Girl with Red Hat by Dick Lubinsky.

• Gilley’s Gallery (Baton Rouge, LA), specialists in Louisiana artists, will include in their booth paintings by Clementine Hunter (1886 - 1988).

• Marion Harris (New York), will introduce Carlos DeMedeiros. After living as a monk in Bolivia for 15 years, DeMedeiros left the monastery with his personal religious ideas in conflict with the one he felt obliged to follow. From this ambivalence, he creates small-scale confessionals accompanied by confessions in sealed envelopes.

• Just Folk (Summerland, CA), newcomers to the fair, is pleased to bring a collection of 28 works by Bill Traylor (c.1854 - 1949). This is one of the largest groups available and has not been seen in the U.S. for more than ten years.

• Outsider Folk Art Gallery (Reading, PA) will feature recent mixed media constructions by Thorton Dial (b.1928) as well as rare 1970s paintings by Purvis Young (b.1943), with works by emerging artists such as Jim Bloom (b.1968).

• Ricco/Maresca (New York) representing both the William Hawkins and the Martin Ramirez estates will bring fine examples from both, including Hawkins’s Historical Monument.

• Luise Ross Gallery (New York), among a fine selection of drawings by Minnie Evans and by Violeta Raditz, will feature for the first time at the Outsider Art Fair metal collages from Colorcoat by the Icelandic Óskar Jónsson (1922 – 1997).

• Judy Saslow Gallery (Chicago) will bring rare pieces from the Oswald Tschirtner estate that have never been seen before.

• Galerie St. Etienne (New York) continues a tradition of exhibiting self-taught greats including Grandma Moses, John Kane, and Morris Hirshfield. The booth will include the painting, “John Kane and his Wife” circa 1928.

Outsider Art Fair | Roberta Smith | Ames Gallery | Henry Boxer Gallery | Cavin-Morris Gallery |

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