Faith and Fantasy in Outsider Art from the Permanent Collection

The exhibition includes a selection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and mixed-media works from a gift of more than one-hundred works given to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center by the Vermont-based collector Pat Parsons (Vassar College, class of 1951). Included are works in various media by thirty-nine self-taught artists, each communicating in a highly personal manner that often emphasizes immediacy and direct expression over traditions of craftsmanship or notions of quality and other modernist criteria. Often utilizing fragile and fugitive materials such as weathered scraps of wood and metal and other social detritus unintentionally questions the concept of art as an everlasting object to be preserved and highlights the vital, spontaneous moment of inspiration and creation. These artists have a powerful desire to tell their stories and a tendency toward decoration and embellishment of their surfaces. They often demonstrate an all-consuming devotion to art-making, resulting in artwork that is highly individualized and idiosyncratic. Intuitively, they master elements of color, form, composition, and texture to create art that is inventive, fresh, and enduring. Religion appears as a powerful theme among this group of works, while fantastic scenes, expressive figures, and imaginative narratives also appear frequently. This illustrated brochure features a critical essay by curator Mary-Kay Lombino and a complete checklist of the 53 works in the exhibition.

Exhibition: February 13–April 26, 2009

8 pages with 8 illustrations

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