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Outsider Art Fair 2014 Announces Special Programs on Jean Michael-Basquiat, Henry Darger and More, 5/8-11

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Outsider Art Fair 2014 Announces Special Programs on Jean Michael-Basquiat, Henry Darger and More, 5/8-11

Following the extraordinary reception of last year's talks, Outsider Art Fair organizers will present several thought provoking talks and panel discussions and a special curated space guaranteed to be of major interest to fans of Outsider Art.

On Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 2-3:30 pm, at the Center 548 Rooftop, OAF will present Lost in Translation: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Self-Taught Artist. Panelists will include Brooke Davis Anderson, Eric Fretz, Lenore Schorr, and Xaviera Simmons. Paul Laster will moderate.

Reevaluating the life and career of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the panel will look at Basquiat's early interest in art, his breakout work as the graffiti writer SAMO, his poetic use of found materials, his obsessive use of anatomy, the repetition of words and symbols in his work, his embrace of heroic figures, and the influence of Outsider artists on his work.

A wunderkind that learned and synthesized his art from the masters and the street, Basquiat fascinated the art world during his decade reign and has risen to greater glories since his death. Responding to Basquiat's recent multimillion-dollar auction prices, the panel will also consider how the embrace and deification of the art market impacts self-taught artists and their place in art history.

Featuring panelists Brooke Davis Anderson, Prospect New Orleans director and former American Folk Art Museum curator; Eric Fretz, writer and author of the 2010 book Jean-Michel Basquiat: A Biography; Lenore Schorr, contemporary art collector and early supporter of Basquiat; Xaviera Simmons, artist whose solo shows include the Museum of Modern Art, Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, and Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Moderated by Paul Laster, contributing writer at Time Out New York and Modern Painters and former PS1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1) adjunct curator of photography.

Paul Laster is a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific, FLATT Magazine, and ArtBahrain; a frequent contributor to Time Out New York, Modern Painters, and Art in America; a former adjunct curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMAPS1); and a lecturer. While at Tony Shafrazi in the mid-1990s, he assisted on the Jean-Michel Basquiat catalogue raisonné, published by Galerie Enrico Navarra, and later lectured on Julian Schnabel's film Basquiat when the Jean-Michel Basquiat retrospective exhibition was at the Brooklyn Museum.

From 4 - 5:30 pm at the Center 548 Rooftop, OAF will present Henry Darger: 40 Years Later, organized and moderated by Valérie Rousseau, curator, art of the self-taught and art brut, American Folk Art Museum

The event wil include Michael Bonesteel, art historian, adjunct assistant professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and author of Henry Darger: Selected Art and Writings (Rizzoli, 2000), James Brett of The Museum of Everything, London, Jim Elledge, professor of English at Kennesaw State University and author of Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy. The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist (Overlook Press, 2013), and Jane Kallir, co-director of the Galerie St. Etienne, New York, independent curator, and author of publications on Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and Grandma Moses

Panelists will discuss their new studies on Henry Darger (1892-1973) and offer innovative avenues to understand this complex oeuvre. Where do we stand 37 years after The Realms of the Unreal at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago - the first exhibition that publicly revealed his works and preceded dozens of international shows?

What main conclusions emerged after the seminal contribution of John MacGregor (starting with "I See a World within the World: I Dream but Am Awake," Parallel Visions, 1992)? Fifteen years after his first publication on Darger (2000), Michael Bonesteel will present his upcoming project (2015), which consists of a reordering of selected key episodes and extended passages from the Realms of the Unreal, that will relate major highlights of the 15,000-page saga. James Brett will explore the iconography and sources for sections in Darger's artworks.

Jane Kallir will approximate the chronological sequence in which Darger created his artworks, how they relate to his writings, and his overall development. Jim Elledge will underline aspects of Darger's life as outlined in his recent book, specifically on the twelve-year-old Darger's confinement to the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children.

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