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thru February 26th

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Dealer’s Choice
Dealer's Choice

Highlighting our participation in this year's Outsider Art Fair (January 28–30, 2005) we are introducing 4 artists from atelier incurve in Osaka, Japan. They are: Terao Katsuhiro, Yoshimune, Yumoto Mitsuo, Shinki Tomoyuki. We think this artist house compares favorably with Gugging, (from Austria) and we are including Johann Hauser and Philipp Schöpke. To this mixture we are adding works from America, Australia, Czechoslovakia, England, France, Germany, Haiti, India, Italy, Jamaica, Serbia, and another artist from Japan.

The intent of this exhibition is twofold. First, to demonstrate the relationship extant between Self-Taught art as a broad generic term and that sub-set known familiarly as Art Brut and most recently misnomered "Outsider Art." Indeed, one can perceive a continuum between essentially superficial fooling around (also art) and that obsessive all consuming transformational phenomenon first identified (by M. Dubuffet) as Art Brut.

Secondly, it has become clear to me that a profound relationship exists between and among the artists in the "genius" category of Art Brut and that this relationship supercedes the divide of continent, time and even mental health. This exhibition explores the sometime irrelevancy of geography in asserting this basic truth.


The history of atelier incurve

Atelier incurve is the first vocational-training facility for mentally disabled people in Japan that focuses on visual arts. There are special people in Japan as well as in other countries who create artworks through uncontrollable impulses. Even the artists themselves cannot explain this phenomenon. Their works — so-called "outsider art" — never fail to fascinate us with their originality, which may come from the artists being uneducated in the arts and/or their mental peculiarities.

A very small group of art lovers in Japan began to develop an interest in these artists and their works first. A few museums also started featuring this kind of art as a part of their modern art exhibits about 10 years ago. However, most Japanese still have few opportunities to see them. This may be because these Japanese outsider artists, just as outsider artists in other countries, are not as concerned about showing their works as they are with creating them.

This being the case, it is hard to find a place in Japan where these artists can devote themselves to their activities without any concern. In spite of their outstanding talents, they do not know how to make the most of their abilities in the real world. This was the situation when several designers, unwilling to let good talent go to waste, were introduced to outsider art and were inspired with an idea to bridge art and society, to give these talented people a space to thrive in the world. In September 2002, the designers founded the atelier incurve institute in Osaka with this idea in mind.

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