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Sexual Personae

in-person exhibition at Hôtel Drouot

OAF Paris 2020

October 21-30, 2020

Sexual Personae


Conceived as an invitational exhibition within the 2020 Outsider Art Fair Paris, Sexual Personae will examine representations of women in the work of different generations of male, female, and gender-nonconforming self-taught, outsider and art brut artists from across the world. Curated by Alison M. Gingeras, the exhibition brings together a panoply of iconic examples of archetypes from Outsider Art: from Henry Darger’s Vivian Girls to a contemporary Madonna by Elisabetta Zangrandi, to Eugene von Bruenchenhein’s pin-up photographs of his wife. 

According to Carl Jung, our human collective unconscious is populated by archetypes and universal symbols. Whether trained or untrained, artists frequently draw from this collective unconscious when creating their iconography and their representations of female subjects often revert to these shared paradigms: Mothers, Queens, Seductresses, Maidens, Crones, Huntresses, Witches, Goddesses, Whores and Schoolgirls among them. Where academically trained artists will have studied drawing with nude models and centuries of art history of the female form, outsider artists are almost never inspired by these formal traditions and conventions. Without the influence of the Academy or the watchful social mores of mainstream art institutions, one could argue that an outsider’s conception of “woman,” femininity, and gender is much less burdened than that of modern and contemporary artists. The lived experience of self-taught artists is transferred directly onto their images of women—think for example of how Unica Zürn’s schizophrenia seems to percolate into her ornate, tortured and often language-infused portrayals. Likewise, Josef Schneller’s meticulously detailed drawings of women in sadomasochistic scenarios (from the landmark Prinzhorn Collection) reflects how he used his art to indulge the sexual “perversions” for which he had been institutionalized. Sexual Personae will offer an unbridled exploration of these representations—hopefully prompting surprising moments of convergence and rupture while celebrating fantastical and imaginary iconography that transcends them. 

Alison M. Gingeras has held curatorial positions at the Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Centre Pompidou (Paris) and Palazzo Grassi (Venice). More recently, she organized “New Images of Man” at Blum and Poe (Los Angeles), which included works by self-taught artists like Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Michel Nedjar, and Kazumi Kamae, as well as the CoBrA Group, who were deeply influenced by psychopathological and children’s art.

Artists :
Miguel Amate (b. 1944, Spain)
Samaneh Atef (b. 1989, Iran)
Morton Bartlett (1909 - 1992, United States)
Jeanne Brousseau (b. 1952, United States)
Misleidys Castillo Pedroso (b. 1985, Cuba)
Kuffjca Cozma (b. 1962, Moldova)
James Edward Deeds Jr. (1908-1987, United States)
Demin (b. 1968, France)
José Manuel Egea (b. 1988, Spain)
Gabriel Evrard (b. 1991, Belgium)
Guo Fengyi (1942 – 2010, China)
Giovanni Galli (b. 1954, Italy)
Pietro Ghizzardi (1906 – 1986, Italy)
Madge Gill (1882 – 1961, United Kingdom)
Vera Girivi (b. 1961, Italy)
Josef Hofer (b. 1945, Austria)
Paul Humphrey (1931 – 1999, United States)
M. C. Jones (1918 – 2003, United States)
Kazumi Kamae (b. 1966, Japan)
Andrew LaMar Hopkins (b. 1977, United States)
Lawrence Lebduska (1894 – 1966, United States)
Stacy Leigh (b. 1971, United States)
Dwight Mackintosh (1906 – 1999, United States)
Jordan Laura MacLachlan (b. 1959, Canada)
Sandra Martagex (b. 1967, France)
Justin McCarthy (1891 – 1977, United States)
Marilena Pelosi (b. 1957, Brazil)
Philadelphia Foreman (dates unknown, United States)
Evelyne Postic (b. 1951, France)
Helen Rae (b. 1938, United States)
Aurie Ramirez (b. 1962, United States)
Royal Robertson (1936 – 1997, USA)
Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern (1892 – 1982, Germany)
William Scott (b. 1964, United States)
Reza Shafahi (b. 1939, Iran)
Lewis Smith (1907 – 1998, United States)
Janet Sobel (1893 – 1968, Ukraine)
Henry Speller (1903 – 1997, United States)
Charles Steffen (1927 – 1995, United States)
Miroslav Tichý (1926 – 2011, Czech Republic)
Mose Tolliver (1925 – 2006, United States)
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910 – 1983, United States)
Joseph Elmer Yoakum (1890 – 1972, United States)
Purvis Young (1943-2010, United States)
Elisabetta Zangrandi (b. 1965, Italy)

Participating galleries :
Art Compulsion (Montpellier, France)
James Barron Art (Kent, United States)
Galerie Christian Berst (Paris, France)
Cavin-Morris Gallery (New York, United States)
Creative Growth (Oakland, United States)
Andrew Edlin Gallery (New York, United States)
Fortnight Institute (New York, United States)
Fred Giampietro Gallery (New Haven, United States)
Marion Harris (New York, United States)
HIrschl & Adler Modern (New York, United States)
Galerie Pol Lemétais (St Sever du Moustier, France)
Galerie Frédéric Moisan (Paris, France)
Galerie POLYSÉMIE (Marseille, France)
RIZOMI (Parma, Italy)
Gary Snyder Fine Art (Bozeman, United States)
Galerie St. Etienne (New York, United States)
Tillou Fine Art (New York, United States)
Venus Over Manhattan (New York, United States)
Wilsonville (East Hampton, United States)

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