First published: Spring 2005
It's an old story in the history of art: each time a new genre appears, the term that refers to it expands, over generations, into a multitude of sub-categories. The same is true in the domain of Outsider Art, Art Brut as we call it in French-speaking countries, of which its many derivations are today referred to by a range of synonymous or rival terms.
In England or the United States, the notion of Outsider Art appeared in the more general context of 'Self-Taught Art' (S. Janis, 1942) or of 'Contemporary Folk Art' (H.W. Hemphill Jr, 1970), and originally was nothing other than a belated translation of the French term Art Brut, invented by Jean Dubuffet in 1945. So to begin with, the term in fact corresponded to a narrowing and a sharpening of its object. Yet it is precisely this controversial term, of rather imprecise meaning, that today tries to cover the whole domain, all categories included.
Photo courtesy: Marine69
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #50