"The Best Art In The World"
By PAUL LASTER, February 2021
Featuring seven curated exhibitions across five Manhattan locations and forty-five online exhibitors from twenty-nine cities, the 29th edition of the Outsider Art Fair in New York, which runs through February 7th, has something for everyone.
Run, don’t walk, to catch a solo presentation of trippy drawings by the renowned musician Daniel Johnston, who died at age 58 in 2019, at Electric Lady Studios, the venerable Greenwich Village recording studio kickstarted by Jimi Hendrix and made famous by Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and scores of other great musicians from the 1970s onwards. Entitled, Daniel Johnston: Psychedelic Drawings, the presentation, which is open by appointment, is curated by celebrated artist and cartoonist Gary Panter.
Once Downtown, be sure to see Semiotic Terrain: Art from Australia and New Zealand at Salon 94 Freemans; Figure Out: Abstraction in Self-Taught Art at Andrew Edlin Gallery; and three shows at Shin Gallery, including Small World, a group exhibition of small-scale works by a selection of self-taught artists; The Realm of Minnie Evans, a solo exhibition of works from The Daniel Collection; and Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning, featuring African-American artists from the Deep South, curated by SHRINE’s Scott Ogden
Then head Midtown for To Be Human: The Figure in Self-Taught Art, on view at Hirschl & Adler, before digging deep into the rest of the fair on your computer, tablet or mobile phone. Powered by Artlogic, the fair’s viewing rooms are chock full of colorful works by a variety of self-taught artists, like these 25 favorites, which we want to add to our dreams-that-money-can-buy collection. WM
Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.
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