I loved the three years I spent with John Evelyn and his lengthy diary. But poor John Evelyn — polymath, public citizen (and official), friend to kings and scientists, but destined always to be second fiddle to his friend Samuel Pepys in the 17th century diarist derby. Pepys is the one who is (sometimes) still […]
Outliers and American Vanguard Art, by Lynne Cooke. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 412 pages, 450 color plates, 2018. ISBN: 978-0226522272. Hardcover, $65 Outliers and American Vanguard Art, filling several rooms at the National Gallery of Art, is a dauntingly large-scale show. And at five pounds, 412 pages, 450-plus illustrations and a 10 x12 form factor, […]
Mythologies, the name of the Kohler Art Center exhibit and substantial catalog, makes a holistic case for Eugene Von Bruenchenhein’s brilliance.
Jim Shaw: The Hidden World, edited by Marc-Olivier Wahler. Koenig Books, London, 512 pages, 2014. ISBN: 978-3863355845. Hardcover. Jim Shaw’s collection of religious, political and cultural ephemera, published in 2014 as an exhibition catalog, makes for a great book, especially if your collecting interests align with Shaw’s, as mine not coincidentally do.
As Essential as Dreams: Self-Taught Art from the Collection of Stephanie and John Smither, by Michelle White, with contributions by Lynne Adele, Brooke Davis Anderson, Haley Berkman, David Breslin, Víctor M. Espinosa, William Fagaly, Edward M. Gómez, Jo Farb Hernández, Lee Kogan, Colin Rhodes and Leslie Umberger. The Menil Collection, Houston, 112 pages, 114 color […]
Outsider Art: Visionary Worlds and Trauma, by Daniel Wojcik. University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS, 276 pages, 174 color illustrations, 2016. ISBN: 978-1496808066. Hardcover, $45 Can we agree that the art still sometimes known as outsider is much more interesting than what to call it? It might seem a simple enough proposition, yet arguments over […]
Hyperart: Thomasson, by Akasegawa Genpei. Kaya Press, 416 pages, 2010. ISBN: 978-1885030467. Paperback, $17.95. Why did it take me half a dozen years to discover this life-changing book, introducing a concept that fundamentally enriches my relationship to the built environment? The idea is the Thomasson, proposed as a form of “hyperart.”
California Crazy and Beyond: Roadside Vernacular Architecture by Jim Heimann My rating: 5 of 5 stars 1980’s California Crazy was one of the early gospels for roadside art enthusiasts, documenting dozens of the state’s wonderful theme buildings of the early 20th century, from giant donuts to miniature sphinxes. Author Jim Heimann updated the book in […]
From Art Brut to Art without Boundaries: A Century of Fascination through the Eyes of Hans Prinzhorn, Jean Dubuffet and Harald Szeemann, by Carine Fol. Skira, Milan, 192 pages, 80 color illustrations, 2015. ISBN: 978-8-8572-2748-1. Paperback, $45 Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet, by Valérie Rousseau with a foreword by Anne-Imelda Radice and […]
Ray Yoshida’s Museum Of Extraordinary Values by Karen Patterson My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’ve had the privilege of seeing Ray Yoshida’s art collection only twice, the first time in 1994 when I was co-curating a show of bottle-cap art for Chicago’s Intuit. Ray was gracious and loaned some pieces. His collection was spectacular, […]