Outsider Art Fair
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Felipe Jesus Consalvos

Cuban-American, 20th century.
Born 1891, near Havana, Cuba; died c. 1960, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Born outside Havana in 1891, this recently rediscovered Cuban-American artist emigrated to Miami around 1920, eventually settling in New York and finally Philadelphia, where he died sometime in the 1950’s or 1960’s. A self-appointed “artist, healer, and man”, Consalvos worked for much of his life as a cigar roller, and he extrapolated the vernacular tradition of cigar band collage to a highly sophisticated, inimitable practice. His obsessive body of work—approximately 750 surviving collages on paper, found photographs, musical instruments, furniture, and other unexpected surfaces, all discovered in 1980 at a West Philadelphia garage sale—merges the biting socio-political satire and absurdist impulses of Dadaists like Kurt Schwitters and Max Ernst with the abstruse mysticism of Joseph Cornell and Jess. Consalvos likewise parallels and prefigures certain contemporaneous developments in Surrealist, Futurist, and Pop collage, design, and even poetry.

- Courtesy of Fleisher/Ollman Gallery


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2010, Felipe Jesus Consalvos, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

2007, More Colossal Greatness, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia

2004, Constructing Images, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia

Selected Group Exhibitions

2013, Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Sheldon and Jill Bonovitz Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art

2010, The Museum of Everything, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin

2009, About Face: A Compilation, Edward Thorp Gallery, New York

2008, Messages and Magic: 100 Years of Collage and Assemblage in American Art, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI

2007, Collage, Russell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago

2006, Parallel Visions II, Galerie St. Etienne, New York

2006, Rock Paper Scissors: American Collage Now, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Philadelphia

2005, Art 36 Basel, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Basel

2005, scope-Miami, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, Miami

2004, Fabulous Histories: Indigenous Anomalies in American Art, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge

2004, scope-London, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, London

Selected Collections

American Folk Art Museum, New York
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia

Selected Bibliography

The Museum of Everything, exhibition catalogue, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin/Milan, 2010.

Smith, Roberta, "Red, White and Blue Americana Atop a Cultural Rainbow," New York Times, January 20, 2006.

Gómez, Edward M., "Upcoming Feature," Folk Art Magazine, September 2006.

Newhall, Edith, "Collage Hot Again," Philadelphia Inquirer, March 17, 2006.

Glueck, Grace, "Reminders of America's Many Pasts," New York Times, January 21, 2005.

Greaves, Brendan, "Cigarmaker, Creator, Healer & Man: The Artwork of Felipe Jesus Consalvos," catalogue essay, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, 2005.

Fallon, Roberta, "Rittenhouse Square Deal," Philadelphia Weekly, November 17, 2004.

Sozanski, Edward J., "Cigar Bands, in His Hands, Became Art," Philadelphia Inquirer, November 5, 2004.

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