Oh so many people are talking about Roberta Smith and Jerry Saltz’s joint call for museums to stop segregating so-called “Outsider Art” in the presentations of their collections.
Here, here, aux armes, storm the ramparts, &c.
Even before Roger Cardinal promoted the term with his 1972 book, “Outsider Art” has been used as a challenge, a counterpoint, to the existing theories and structures of the art world.
And especially during this Groundhog Day season, it’s important to revisit and learn from earlier “Outsider Art” inclusiveness controversies. Though filed in 1987, Andy Grundberg’s NY Times report, “When Outs Are In, What’s Up?” certainly sounds like it could be torn from today’s headlines:
For such ”outsider” art to take center stage within the art world suggests a change in the prevailing perception of what art should be, and do.
Certainly the Mary Boone Gallery is a very different place than it was when it first opened 10 years ago. ”In the beginning, it was as if it were Julian Schnabel’s gallery,” Mary Boone recalled in a recent interview at her gallery on West Broadway in SoHo. ”To most people, the only artist I showed was Julian Schnabel. Or not even Julian Schnabel, but ‘the guy who did the broken plates.’ ” Schnabel’s departure in early 1984, for Pace Gallery on 57th Street, may have put a chink in the gallery’s cachet, but it allowed Miss Boone to shift the profile of her gallery to a less ostentatious, less brash kind of art -one that could include artists like [Barbara]Kruger and [Sherrie] Levine.