In conjunction with the Outsider Art Fair: New York, Steven S. Powers presents their Winter 2020 Catalog, "Shut The Door And Listen From Outside" This 88-page catalog features recent finds in the genres of Outsider and Self-Taught Art with a few additions of related American Folk Art.
"Shut The Door And Listen From Outside" is a statement from Oblique Strategies, which is a set of cards each with a suggestion, directive, or constraint created by the artists Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt to encourage lateral thinking and to break creative blocks.
With this in mind, as an art dealer or collector, one may think, how will this look if I see it indirectly? From a room away? Through a window? Obscured through a crowd of people? Or as I quickly scroll through Instagram? This question is not a shallow proposition—we often see a particular artwork from an off-angle or perspective—not in optimal presentation. Indeed, if we think about it, we likely first approached an artwork we came to love because it looked good "from outside." It had something special going on from a small section we gleaned through a crowd of people, or the composition came into focus as we came towards it from another room.
As an artist, we may interpret this as another way of seeing. To purposely not see clearly or overtly—to create something anew based on partial information or hazy suggestions seen or heard. Or another way to look at a work in progress. View it from the side, across the room, or without glasses to see a fuzzy tonal map—is it still working for you?
Most of this collection and other additions will be exhibited at The Outsider Art Fair: New York, January 16-19, 2020. Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W 18th ST. New York, NY 10011.
STEVEN S. POWERS