New York 17th Annual Outsider Art Fair

New York 17th Annual Outsider Art Fair starts tomorrow, January 9, and will last the entire weekend.

Some of the world’s best known and highest priced artworks are made by self-taught artists. By being virtually unaffected by cultural or artistic convention, artists have the opportunity to really reflect the self and their honest views on life and society through their media and treatment of choice. Major innovators in the artworld, such as for example Francis Bacon, were self-taught artists. It is in their process of learning through trial and error that new techniques, treatments, thoughts and concepts have been explored.

The Outsider Art Fair in New York annually showcases some revolutionary art (and some not so revolutionary) art by artists without formal art training. Now in its 17th year, the Outsider Art Fair has become more refined. Its venue is suitably adjusted. Its prior Puck Building has been swapped for nicer midtown location. Whether it is due to the renovations at the fair’s former SoHo home, or otherwise, the beautiful space at 7 W New York at 7 West 34th Street at 5th Avenue will set the tone for a new and more refined version of New York’s Outsider Art fair.

And so, expect to find some gems at the fair, besides lots of artistic variety. From middle-class hobby art to abstract expressions of the clinically insane, there is no sect of society that is left out of this art show, other than those who have formal training in the arts. The excitement of never knowing what new hybrid-style of art may be found is more than enough to keep the crowds coming back again and again.

17th Annual Outsider Artfair 2009 New York

About the Show

When The Outsider Art Fair began in 1993, it was the first fair devoted to artwork created by people outside the mainstream of society—people virtually unaffected by cultural or artistic convention. Bringing together
pioneers in the field like American Primitive Gallery, Carl Hammer Gallery, Luise Ross Gallery, Ames Gallery, Henry Boxer Gallery, Cavin-Morris Gallery, and Phyllis Kind Gallery, the event helped define an entire market.

Exhibitors & Featured Artists

Now, 17 years later, this lasting tradition continues to grow as a stirring showcase of well-known artists as well as newly discovered talents. Thirty-four dealers will exhibit in the fair this year, many returning from years past, including:

  • The Ames Gallery (Berkeley, CA) will bring a collection of paintings by Ursula Barnes and paintings by Alex Maldonado who artistically expressed his concern for the planet as far back as the 1960s;
  • Galerie Bonheur (St. Louis, MO) will highlight works by Craig Norton, Mary Whitfield and Amos Ferguson;
  • Jennifer Pinto Safian (New York) will bring several works on paper by the Swiss artist Aloïse Corbaz;
  • Henry Boxer Gallery (Richmond, England) will feature a series of “Megalopolis” drawings of imagined future cityscapes by George Widener;
  • Galerie St. Etienne (New York) will focus special attention on artists that will be featured in their upcoming
    exhibition “They Taught Themselves: A ‘Folk’ Classic Revisited;”

  • the Gilley’s Gallery (Baton Rouge, LA) exhibit will include tin and wood constructions by David Butler;
  • Ricco/Maresca Gallery (New York) will bring selections by Martin Ramirez and Stephen Palmer;
  • Luise Ross Gallery (New York) will present the childhood drawings of Violeta C. Raditz;
  • Gary Snyder/Project Space (New York) plans a one-person show of paintings and works on paper by Janet Sobel, the self-taught artist whose drip paintings influenced Jackson Pollock.

New additions to the fair include a booth from the Fountain Gallery (New York), the premier venue in the city representing artists with mental illness; Outsider Folk Art Gallery (Reading, PA), featuring the works of Purvis
Young and other artists both established and emerging; and Self Taught Art New Zealand (Wellington, New Zealand).

Outsider Art Fair Dates & Hours

January 9 – 11, 2009
7 W New York, 7 West 34th Street at 5th Avenue
Preview January 8 6pm – 9pm
Friday, January 9 11am – 8pm
Saturday, January 10 11am – 7pm
Sunday, January 11 11am – 6pm
Daily admission is $20 and includes a catalog

The Gala Preview was tonight at the American Folk Art Museum, offering a first look at the fair. Tours of the fair and lectures will be held in the show lecture room throughout the weekend. For more information on these events, visit

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