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James ‘Son Ford’ Thomas Short Film from Breakaway Films

This short film about James 'Son Ford' Thomas was made by Jeffrey Wolf, Breakaway Films, and edited by Zach Wolf.

James 'Son Ford' Thomas was featured in issue 64 of Raw Vision magazine.

European Outsider Art Association Conference Rescheduled

This year's Annual General Assembly and International Conference will not take place as planned due to the Covid-19 crisis. Instead, the International Conference and Annual General Assembly will be will be postponed to May 6–9, 2021 in St. Gallen.

The board will hold an online board meeting at the beginning of May, after which they will send all members an update including information about the Annual General Assembly 2020, which will be conducted as a virtual meeting.


CJ Pyle's Recent Show at Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago

Below is an excerpt of the gallery statement for CJ Pyle's recent show at Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago, written by the critic Robin Dluzen:

“Crawling From the Wreckage,” like most of CJ Pyle’s exhibitions, is like a snapshot of the current state of his making process. Pyle’s solo exhibitions don’t necessarily contain a certain body of work, or act as bookends to a particular set of ideas or conceptual stimuli. The artist explains that his intuition guides the progression from piece to piece, as it does his compositions, his mark-making, his choice of colors. In a way, his entire oeuvre is a career-long continuation of a single practice: his laborious style of “knotted” mark-making with ballpoint pen upon found paper material.

Pyle’s adoption of ballpoint pen in his drawing began decades ago, when he was a touring musician and free pens were the medium readily at hand. Over the years, Pyle has studied, researched and mastered the practice of drawing with a ballpoint pen, the intricacies of which are made so compelling throughout the works in “Crawling From The Wreckage.”

The LP sleeves, the backs of which are so often the surface Pyle draws upon, are another holdover from his music career. Compared to the glossy print of the album covers, the versos are a kind of blank canvas, though in Pyle’s hands, even this plain paper board incites his aesthetic decisions. For the artist, the matte, lightly sealed surface is ideal for retaining the strokes of the pen; the square format and the head and shoulders of his subjects are in perfect harmony. In The Nice, Pyle makes use of an album cover entirely unfolded, its center crease a crucial component of the picture --a formal hinge separating the figure’s head from her body like an exquisite corpse.

Judith Scott Film from Creative Growth

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Creative Growth Art Center has shared this full-length documentary on Judith Scott (1943–2005), produced by Lola Barrera and Julio Medem in 2006. It tells Scott's life, and also features many young faces of artists who still work in Creative Growth’s studio. The totality of Judith Scott's experiences and unique art practice are a renowned part of Creative Growth’s history, and her work continues to be studied and exhibited around the globe.


William Hawkins Short Film from Breakaway Films

William Hawkins was born July 27, 1895 in Kentucky. He is one of the most highly regarded self-taught artists of the twentieth century. This short film was made by Jeffrey Wolf, Breakaway Films, and edited by Zach Wolf.

Message from Art Brut et Compagnie, France

There are very few creative couples in the history of art brut. Pierre worked in a carpentry shop in Bourges, central France while Raymonde had a small dressmaking business. They married in 1945 and did not have children. It was after Pierre's retirement in 1968 that they discovered, in their small apartment on rue Calvin in Bourges, hundreds of small "strange" objects that resembled like toys. They invented an imaginary world from their daily lives: at shops, hospital, church, household objects, including a sewing machine, the world of leisure (music, circus), travel (plane, truck, train), modernity (nuclear plant, television, machines), fiction (robots with housekeepers, standing men and the great healing robot Vagamay). 

Their creations are now in the collections of La Fabuloserie, abcd Paris, LaM - Ville d’Ascq and Bourges Museum.

Pierre invented, sculpted wood with a simple penknife, and Raymonde always painted with the same six colours and had little influence except for flower pots and certainly sewing machines, like the Singer machine. This sewing machine which is currently used to make masks that are so badly needed. A mask and a machine that will remain among the symbols of this epidemic in France.

So let's make masks, if we can, for us and for others like Christine, the weaver, a member of our association who makes masks for people with disabilities. Respect!

A simple story, of "common people" – as Dubuffet liked to call the artists of art brut.  Many of them are "ordinary people", "invisible" yesterday, who are today in our new world brought to the fore. Certainly they, like Raymonde and Pierre Petit, deserve to enter the museum, if there is one from Coronavirus.

We do not forget, we lovers of art brut, Raymonde and Pierre Petit, just as we will not forget the caregivers, supermarket cashiers, garbage collectors, bakers, truckers.... and all the others, all those who made masks, those who saved our lives and who help us everyday to stay alive.

Thank you to Raymonde and Pierre Petit, thank you to the artists, thank you to all those who take care of others.

Take good care of yourself.

Friendly and fraternal thoughts.

Alain Moreau
Président Art Brut en Compagnie

Outside In, UK

Outside In and The Art House are offering a residency at The Art House’s purpose-built studios in Wakefield and are seeking proposals from individual artists who would like to develop and progress their practice. This opportunity is open to Outside In artists with an Outside In online gallery or who fit the criteria for the charity. The deadline for applications is June 7. 

Click here for more information.



New Book on Fernando Nannetti by Lucienne Peiry

Le Livre de Pierre, a small volume for sale at €7, explores the story of Nannetti, a hospital inmate and art brut creator, presenting an analysis of the mysterious signs, words and images he engraved on the walls of the psychiatric hospital near Volterra in Italy. Peiry also introduces Nanneti’s intense drawings.

It is possible to buy the book by emailing ex-nihilo.librairie@bluewin.ch.

See article in Raw Vision #63.

Frantiska Blechova's Environment in the Czech Republic

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Frantiska Blechova (1911-2001) built this sculpture garden in the village of Biskupice in the Czech Republic from the age of 67. She filled it with many colourful concrete sculptures and it became known as the ‘Fairy Tale Garden’. Her BISKUPICKÉ SAFARI is a unique example of spontaneous marginal work in the Czech Republic. After her death the house was sold and the new owner had all the sculptures restored. The video was shot in 2019 by art brut collector Pavel Konečný.


John Turner's New Book on Carved Coconut Heads

A new book by John Turner shines a light on a little known area of untaught expression – the carved coconut heads that originated from the South Sea islands. Available to purchase on Amazon here.


So we’re free to consider the carved coconut heads with the same innocent delight, cynical criticality, or utter disinterest with which we approach a Koons ornament — or the Mona Lisa for that matter. But here another layer of complexity emerges. While carved coconut heads have been and continue to be mass-produced they — unlike a cast plastic hula dancer figurine or silk-screened souvenir throw-cushion — are subject to considerable organic variation, even at their most assembly-line uniformity. And the carved coconut heads in this collection are about as far from industrial as you can get.

Running the gamut from absurd caricatures to mimetic likenesses, from nightmarish grotesques to archetypal icons, the Turner coconut endowment — while undeniably including tchotchkes created for the tourist trade — paradoxically encompasses a bafflingly encyclopedic array of sculptural and painterly strategies and conceptual approaches to the depiction of a (usually human) head. This wild heterogeny underscores the complexity of the conditions under which a genuine folk art — reflecting the global consumerist culture that now encompasses our planet — may come into being.