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Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art partners with SOFA at Navy Pier

African American Barbershop Stand of Drawers, Artist Unknown, West Virginia Origin, c. 1940-50, Carl Hammer Gallery. Gee's Bend Area, Work Clothes Quilt c. 1950, "Bars" Denim & Cotton, printed & dyed fabric, Hill Gallery, Birmingham MI. Eugene Von Bruench
African American Barbershop Stand of Drawers, Artist Unknown, West Virginia Origin, c. 1940-50, Carl Hammer Gallery. Gee's Bend Area, Work Clothes Quilt c. 1950, "Bars" Denim & Cotton, printed & dyed fabric, Hill Gallery, Birmingham MI. Eugene Von Bruench
Courtesy of SOFA and Intuit Shows

SOFA, the city of Chicago’s longest continually running art fair, will partner with the Intuit Show this weekend, to present an extravaganza of art for Chicagoans. Featuring twenty galleries that specialize in folk and outsider art, the Intuit Show promotes public awareness of intuitive and outsider art. The show was formerly a part of Artropolis and Art Chicago at the Merchandise Mart in 2009, and looks forward to the option to grow with SOFA and The Art Fair Company at the Navy Pier site. This move opens Intuit to a new audience and maintains the connections with dedicated audience members in the Chicago area. Intuit galleries include American Primitive Gallery, Carl Hammer Gallery, Harvey Pranian: Art & Antiques, Hill Gallery, Judy A. Saslow Gallery, Just Folk, Margaret Bodell, Lindsay Gallery, Outsider Folk Art Gallery, Packer Schopf Gallery, Pardee Collection and the Russell Bowman Art Advisory.

Intuit was founded in 1991 by a group of Chicago artists, gallery owners, art collectors, business people, and arts patrons as a non-profit exhibition and education agent. The Intuit Center boasts more than six hundred members worldwide and delivers news in the field to over six thousand readers through the vehicle of Outsider Magazine. The magazine covers Intuit exhibits, programs and special events, as well as important discoveries in outsider art. Chicago’s own Hairy Who, a group of Art Institute students and alumni, created and Imagist art that acknowledged a debt to the inspirations found in the works of outsider and folk artists.

The president of The Art Fair Company, Mark Lyman, says: “We are delighted to partner with the Intuit, Chicago’s respected Center for the Intuitive and Outsider Art to produce the Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art alongside SOFA CHICAGO. The side by side format expands offerings in all areas for attendees. In 2007, Lyman allied The Art Fair Company with the post-craft art movement. This new partnership continues to forward the company’s contemporary awareness and offerings. The twenty galleries, special on-site happenings and lectures at Intuit compliment the offerings of SOFA.

American Primitive Gallery represents folk works from Eugene Andolsek, Raymond Materson, and unknown masters from the early 1900s. Andolsek’s detailed fractal works exhibit vibrant colors and linear complexity, and were a counter point to the artist’s daytime job as a stenographer. Carl Hammer Gallery will represent Chicagoans Henry Darger and landscape artist Joseph Yoakum, whose works were first exhibited by Harvey Pranian: Art & Antiques of Evanston in the late 1960s. Yoakum’s work is examined in the current issue of Outsider Magazine in the article Pondering Joseph Yoakum.

Carl Hammer Gallery also presents the work of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein whose works in paint depict apocalyptic landscapes, and who sculpted with chicken bones, ceramic and cement, as well as drawing pin ups of his wife and writing on poetry and science. Harvey Pranian, Carl Hammer Gallery, Harvey Art & Antiques, and Outsider Folk Gallery will present Lee Godie’s works in her self-proclaimed French Impressionist style utilize ink and often recycled materials. She created many of her early images, including two sided pieces, on canvas window shades.

Outsider Folk Art Gallery will also present work by Chicago artist William Dawson’s mythic and totem figures and animals in acrylic paint and wood sculpture, Purvis Young’s paintings utilizing discarded and recycled materials, and Thorton Dial’s portraiture, animal figuration and abstraction.

Hill Gallery of Birmingham, Michigan presents the mixed media carvings of R. K. Cook, an everyday laborer who was inspired by photographic media such as newspapers and magazines. Hill Gallery also represents the works of unknown artists in fiber and utilitarian art. Judy A. Saslow Gallery of Chicago represents the works of Mose Tolliver, or Mose T., Carlo Zinelli, and Michel Nedjar. Nejar’s found material fetish dolls run the gamut from colorful and comical to somber and “horrifyingly tragic” as Jean Dubuffet once described them. Mose Tolliver’s works are also represented by Russell Bowman Art Advisory, along with Carlo Zinelli. Tolliver’s paintings were first sold in the tradition of yard art from outside his Montgomery, Alabama home. Zinelli’s tempera paint and colored pencil works are influenced by his schizophrenia and some reflect a continuous narrative. His body of work includes about nineteen hundred paintings and a few sculptures. The Russell Bowman Art Advisory will also display works by Edgar Tolson.

Sister Gertrude Morgan is represented by Russell Bowman Art Advisory, Gilleys Gallery of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Carl Hammer Gallery. The artist was profiled in past issues of Outsider Magazine, in the article Sister Gertrude Morgan Everlasing: Breaking Free of the Confines of Race and Gender. Morgan was a “legendary figure of the French Quarter of New Orleans” working with biblical and personal interpretations of the divine in tiny ecstatic paintings.

Judy A. Saslow Gallery, Hill Gallery, Just Folk, and Pardee Collection will represent the works of William “Bill” Traylor. A grouping of works that have not been exhibited in the United States in the last decade will be part of Just Folk’s display of the artist’s silhouette forms and signature “Traylor Blue” works will be included. Just Folk will also present the works of autistic artist Chris Murray, whose dynamic pencil and acrylic collage works document the world of the artist’s home, New York City, taken from photographic references. Packer Schopf Gallery will also represent works from The Cowboy Constructions of Harry Young. Featuring handmade figures on cardboard with collaged faces from ads for cowboy movies and props such as a wearable Marshall’s badge, Young’s work is playful and the collection includes a rule book for cowboy life.

Pardee Gallery will also present works by Jim Work and Emitte Hych. Margaret Bodell of New York will present a blend of street inspired work by young artists and the works of established artists Jesus Rios, Vito Bonnano, and Bill McDonnel. Lindsay Gallery will present the paintings of Karl Mullen and the woodcarvings of LaVon Van Williams.

Special on-site happenings include focused coverage of works by African American vernacular artists from the American south, artists with disabilities or different abilities, and artists whose life experience includes time in prison. The dialogue on the African American vernacular includes works by William “Bill” Taylor, Purvis Young, Mose Tolliver, and Sister Gertrude Morgan. Works by artists with differing abilities includes Bill Mcdonnell, and Chris Murray. Artists with personal experience of prison include Raymond Materson and Jesus Rios.

Lectures at Intuit include Outsider Art 101, presented by author Micheal Bonesteel, whose book Henry Darger: Art and Selected Writing catalogs the work and life of the artist through The Story of the Vivian Girls and other works. Bonesteel is a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and will Introduce outsider and self-taught art and explore its Chicago connections. This lecture is scheduled for 11am to 12pm Friday, November 5th, 2010 in room 326. Members of the Chicago-area organizations that foster differently abled artists and showcase their work will debate these works position in context of “outside” the realm of traditional art training. Panelists include Robert Lentz of Project Onward, Frank Tumino of Little City, Maggie Roche of El Valor, and Ryan Shuquem of The Arts of Life. The moderator is art therapist, Suellen Semekoski.

Author and educator Mary Trent will explore connections between the turn of the century American craft of paper dollhouse scrapbooks and the works of Henry Darger in Henry Darger and the Unruly Paper Dollhouse Scrapbook, taking place 11am to 12pm Friday, November 5th, 2010 in room 326.

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