Posted by: outsiderart1 | June 23, 2013

Outsider Art under Analysis: Part One (Speakers)

Kate Davey writing about the ‘Outsider Art Under Analysis’ talk that took place at the Wellcome Collection alongside the Souzou exhibition (which ends on June 30th so do not miss out!) It was an interesting talk featuring Roger Cardinal, David O Flynn and Shamita Sharmacharja. As always ‘what is outsider art’ seemed to be a focus of a lot of the discussion and also whether the term should still be used and if its actually still in existence. This prompted Roger to say ‘I am cursed by that term’ as of course he coined the term Outsider Art back in 1972 as an alternative English term for Art Brut. Some interesting questions were however raised and it was interesting to hear from Shamita why she chose to curate the show in the way she did.

I think that the work in Souzou is great and there are some outstanding pieces including the work of 17 yeaar old Kokobu which is the 10ft long unfinished drawing.

What was noted at the talk was the sudden emergence of so much of this kind of art (from the margins) at the moment. Roger and John Maizels noted that in most other countries it is shown regularly and their are centres dedicated to showing this kind of art, so they were glad that England is finally catching on to this kind of art and showcasing it more.

Read Kate’s blog for further information on the talk!


Above Image:  ‘The Economically Booming City of Tianjin, China’ by Norimitsu Kokubo

On Saturday 15 June, I visited the Wellcome Collection for a talk on the history and development of ‘outsider art’; an event accompanying the current ‘Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan’ exhibition. Here, I have outlined the main points covered by each of the speakers, and highlighted a few of the questions raised during the discussion. I am hoping to come back to these questions in ‘Part Two’, and answer them for myself. 

The panel consisted of Roger Cardinal; art historian and ‘coiner’ of the term ‘outsider art’, John Maizels; editor of Raw Vision Magazine, David O’Flynn; consultant psychiatrist at the Lambeth and Maudsley Hospitals, and Shamita Sharmacharja; curator of the current Wellcome Collection exhibition.

John Maizels chaired the event which aimed to explore the history of ‘outsider art’, right from its early days as a diagnostic tool for psychiatrists…

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