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The Doors of Perception

Curated by Javier Téllez

A project for Frieze New York in collaboration with the Outsider Art Fair

May 2 – 5, 2019

Noviadi Angkasapura (1979) Indonesia, Untitled, 2017, Ballpoint pen and graphite on paper, 12 x 16 in
Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923-2014) Ivory Coast, Légende des jumeaux Wandou et Dideïga (Legend of the twins Wandou and Dideïga), series of 33 drawings, 1992, colored pencil and ballpoint pen on cardboard," 4 x 6 in
Eugene von Bruenchenhein (1910-1983) USA, Steel-Imperial City, June 1978, 1978, Oil on cardboard, 33.75 x 29.5 in
Raimundo Camilo (1939) Brazil, Untitled, n.d., Colored pencil, graphite and pen ball on paper, 3.5 x 6 in
Aloïse Corbaz (1886-1964) Switzerland, Dans le manteau de Napoléon (In Napoleon's Coat), 1955, Crayon on paper, 23 x 16.5 in
Henry Darger (1892-1973) USA, Untitled (At Jennie Richee Going out of Shelter as Storm Abates), n.d., Watercolor, pencil on paper, 24 x 106 in
John Devlin (1954) Canada, Study, circular utopia, Nova Scotia, 1988, Mixed media on paper, 11 x 8.5 in
Janko Domsic (1915-1983) Croatia/France, Untitled, n.d., 16 x 12 in, Ballpoint pen on cardboard
Minnie Evans (1892-1987) USA, Untitled (Red Lips on Moon), 1959, Crayon and ink on paper, 11.5 x 9 in
Guo Fengyi (1942-2010) China, Master Guan, n.d., Colored ink on rice paper, 96 x 26 in
Madge Gill (1882-1961) United Kingdom, Untitled, 1953, Ink on paper, 26 x 20 in
Ken Grimes (1947) USA, Throw the Switch, 2010, Acrylic on Masonite, 48 x 36 in
Martha Grunenwaldt (1910-2008) Belgium, Untitled, n.d., Mixed media on paper, 16.5 x 12 in
William A. Hall (1943) USA, Untitled, Pencil and crayon on found paper, 18 x 25 in
Frank Jones (1900-1969) USA, Tom Devil Gambling, c. 1964-69, Colored pencil on paper, 25 x 30 in
Susan Te Kahurangi King (1951) New Zealand, Untitled, c. 1975-1980, Graphite, colored pencil and crayon on paper, 16.5 x 9 in
Davood Koochaki (1939) Iran, Untitled, n.d., Graphite on paper, 39 x 27.5 in
Eugène Lambourdière dit “Maurice” (1948) France, Untitled, n.d., Ink and graphite on paper, 8.25 x 11.75 in
Dwight Mackintosh (1906-1999) USA, Untitled, 1994, Ink on paper, 11 x 15 in 
Tarcisio Merati (1934-1995) Italy, Aeroplanino / Small Plane, n.d., Tempera on paper, 30 x 39.5 in
Marilena Pelosi (1957) Brazil, Untitled, 2015, Ballpoint pen on paper, 9.5 x 12 in
Luboš Plný (1961) Czech Republic, Brain, 2016, Ink, acrylic, collage on paper, 39.37 x 27.56 in
Martín Ramírez (1895-1963) Mexico/USA, Untitled (Arches), c. 1960-63, Gouache, colored pencil, and graphite on pieced paper, 20 x 90 in
Bárbaro Rivas (1893-1967) Venezuela, La pesca milagrosa (The Miraculous Fishing), c. 1965, Enamel paint on Masonite, 13 x 19.25 in
Prophet Royal Robertson (1936-1997) USA, Untitled (City Ukias), c. 1970s - 1980s, Enamel, marker, and ink on poster board, 28 x 22 in
Vassili Romanenkov (1953-2013) Russia, Untitled, n.d., Mixed media on paper mounted on board, 16.5 x 12 in
Shinichi Sawada (1982) Japan, Untitled [66], 2017, Ceramic, 7 x 7 x 8 in
Judith Scott (1943-2005) USA, Untitled, 1993, Fiber and found objects, 20 x 36 x 10 in
Sava Sekulić (1902-1989) Croatia, Queen Bajavitovica, 1974, Oil on canvas, 16.25 x 13.75 in
Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern (1892-1982) Russia/Germany, The Moon Culturing Painting (Das Mondkulturchandmal), 1961, Pencil on board, 28 x 20 in
Charles Steffen (1927-1995) USA, Untitled (Elongated Nude, Suspended in Space), 1992, Graphite and colored pencil on paper, 96 x 30 in
Marcel Storr (1911-1976) France, Untitled, c. 1968, Graphite, colored ink and varnish on Canson paper, 20 x 24 in
Ionel Talpazan (1955-2015) Romania/USA, UFO Art & Science #4, 1996, Mixed media on paper, 24.5 x 48 in
Melvin Way (1954) USA, 89, 2013, Ballpoint pen on paper, 6 x 5 in
George Widener (1962) USA, Magic Circle, 2012, Mixed media on canvas, 60 x 60 in
Scottie Wilson (1888-1972) United Kingdom, Untitled, c. 1940, 11.5 x 15 in
Agatha Wojciechowsky (1896-1986) Germany/USA, Untitled, c. 1967, Ink and watercolor on paper, 17 x 14 in
Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930) Switzerland, Bänggaalisches Feuerwärk (Bangali Firework), 1926, Colored pencil on paper, 18.5 x 24 in 
Joseph Yoakum (1890-1972) USA, Mt. Huerta near Juraz Mexico, c. 1970, Pen and colored pencil on paper, 12 x 19 in
Anna Zemánková (1908-1986) Czech Republic, Untitled, early 1960s, Pastel on paper, 34.5 x 24.5 in
Carlo Zinelli (1916-1974) Italy, Untitled, 1960, Tempera on paper, 14 x 20 in
Unica Zürn (1916-1970) Germany/France, La Serpenta (The Serpent), 1957, Oil on panel, 19.5 x 19.5 in
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: Prophet Royal Robertson, Ionel Talpazan, and William A. Hall.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: Ionel Talpazan, Ken Grimes, Eugène Lambourdière « Maurice », and Eugene Von Bruenchenhein.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: Marcel Storr, Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, William A. Hall, Ionel Talpazan, and Ken Grimes.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: John Devlin, Ken Grimes, and George Widener.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: George Widener and Scottie Wilson.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Adam Reich., Works, from left: Tarcisio Merati, Janko Domsic, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Melvin Way, and Judith Scott (center).
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: Janko Domsic and Frédéric Bruly Bouabré.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, Melvin Way, George Widener, Scottie Wilson, Bárbaro Rivas, Carlo Zinelli, and Judith Scott (center).
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: Martín Ramírez, Vassili Romanenkov, and Adolf Wölfli.
"The Doors of Perception," installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works by Martín Ramírez.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: Guo Fengyi, Luboš Plný, Dwight Mackintosh, Noviadi Angkasapura, and Shinichi Sawada (center).
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: Sava Sekulić, Marilena Pelosi, Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Davood Koochaki, and Shinichi Sawada (center).
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works by Henry Darger.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works by Susan Te Kahurangi King.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Adam Reich., Works, from left: Joseph Yoakum, Agatha Wojciechowsky, Minnie Evans, Frank Jones, and Martha Grunenwaldt.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: Unica Zürn and Madge Gill.
"The Doors of Perception." Installation view. Photo by Olya Vysotskaya., Works, from left: Aloïse Corbaz, Unica Zürn, Madge Gill, Joseph Yoakum, and Agatha Wojciechowsky.

NEW YORK, NY – The Outsider Art Fair is excited to announce The Doors Of Perception, a unique project in collaboration with Frieze New York curated by the artist Javier Téllez. The exhibition will feature over forty visionary artists from around the world, including works by Noviadi Angkasapura (b. 1979, Indonesia), Frédéric Bruly Bouabré (1923–2014, Ivory Coast), Henry Darger (1892-1973, USA), Janko Domsic (1915-1983, Croatia/France), Minnie Evans (1892-1987, USA), Guo Fengyi (1942–2010, China), Martín Ramírez (1895-1963, Mexico/USA), Judith Scott (1943-2005, USA), Melvin Way (b. 1954, USA), George Widener (b. 1962, USA), Adolf Wölfli (1864–1930, Switzerland), Anna Zemánkova (1908–1986, Czech Republic), and Unica Zürn (1916-1970, Germany) among many others. Works will be sourced through OAF participating galleries including Henry Boxer, Cavin-Morris, Creative Growth Art Center, Andrew Edlin, Carl Hammer, Galerie Pol Lemétais, Polysémie, Ricco/Maresca, SHRINE, as well as borrowed from private collections.

The Doors of Perception focuses on the visionary nature of art commonly known as outsider art, art brut, or self-taught art. The exhibition presents a large constellation of works made by exceptionally gifted artists from five continents, offering a panorama of art created on the margins of society. Whether psychiatric patients, self-taught visionaries, or mediums, each of the artists in the exhibition felt at some point in their life the need to create an artistic language of their own in order to reveal what they understood to be the true nature of things. Often disenfranchised because of their mental condition or social status and without any previous artistic training, many of the artists exhibited here dedicated their lives obsessively to the creation of complex visual representations, often after experiencing a life-changing epiphany. A meeting with a supernatural power—whether an encounter with the divine, spirits of the dead, or extraterrestrial beings—might have triggered this impulse to create. These remarkable events produced strong centrifugal forces that drove the artists from chaos to order, opening for them “doors of perception” to a transcendental reality that, in many cases, helped them survive their otherwise unstable life.

The artists included in the exhibition are, as Sol Lewitt described conceptual artists, “rather mystics than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.” Their many artistic languages not only question our beliefs about madness and normalcy, but also subvert the notion of reality as we conceive it. The theme of transformation is recurrent in their works: the body is perceived as a multiple entity (Domsic, Fengyi, Charles Steffen, Carlo Zinelli, Zürn), the human and the animal merge (Angkasapura, Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Shinichi Sawada, Sava Sekulić), fantastic architectures grow as if they were part of the natural world (Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, William Hall, Marcel Storr), imaginary worlds are filled with extraterrestrial animal, plants, and minerals in dreamlike landscapes (Darger, Joseph Yoakum, Zemánková). Notions of inside and outside permeate so inner and outer are perceived as fluid entities with internal organs and bones made visible in portraits of the body (Angkasapura, Fengyi, Luboš Plný). Everything is represented in a state of “becoming,” so the boundaries between self and space collapse and a new understanding of reality arises, presenting us with a perception that is characteristic of mystic visions.

Truly utopian, the visionary artists represent the world anew, so they often think of the future as a parallel dimension to the present (Hall, Prophet Royal Robertson, Widener, Wölfli). For them, time is a perpetual possibility, having invented codes to access a new consciousness beyond the flat world of appearances (John Devlin, Ionel Talpazan, Way, Widener). As William Blake wrote: “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite.”

– Javier Téllez

Participating Exhibitors:
American Primitive, New York
Henry Boxer Gallery, Richmond, UK
Chris Byrne, Dallas, TX
Cavin-Morris Gallery, New York
Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, CA
Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York
La Fabuloserie, Paris
Carl Hammer, Chicago
Jennifer Lauren Gallery, Manchester, UK
Galerie Pol Lemetais, Saint Sever du Moustier, France
Magnin-A, Paris
Galerie du moineau écarlate, Paris
Galerie Polysemie, Marseille, France
Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York
SHRINE, New York
Ubu Gallery, New York

About Javier Téllez
For the past twenty years, artist Javier Téllez (b. 1969, Valencia, Venezuela) has been making films in collaboration with people living with mental illness. Both of Téllez’s parents were psychiatrists, so he grew up in contact with people affected by mental illness; it was natural that it would become the main subject of his work.

Throughout his career, Téllez has been interested in outsider art /art brut/ self-taught art and has been studying the subject for many years. Previously, he curated an exhibition at the Prinzhorn Collection (Heidelberg) that focused on the works of mentally ill artists that were loaned by the University of Heidelberg to the infamous exhibition Entartete Kunst (Munich, 1937). In his own work, Téllez reflects a sustained interest in bringing peripheral communities and invisible situations to the fore of contemporary art, addressing institutional dynamics, disability, and mental illness as marginalizing conditions. Téllez’s projects have often involved working in collaboration with people diagnosed with mental illness to produce film installations that question the notions of the normal and the pathological.

Téllez’s art has been the subject of many solo exhibitions at numerous venues including the Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester (2018); the San Francisco Art Institute (2014); Kunsthaus Zürich (2014); Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent (2013); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2011); and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2005). His work has been exhibited at documenta, Kassel (2012); Manifesta7, Trentino-South Tyrol, Italy (2008); Biennale of Sydney (2008); Whitney Biennial, New York (2008); Venice Biennale (2001, 2003); and the Yokohama Triennial (2001). Téllez’s work is part of many public collections including those of Tate Modern, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Kunsthaus, Zürich; National Galerie, Berlin; and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1999 and the Global Mental Health Award for Innovation in the Arts from Columbia University in 2016. Javier Téllez has lived and worked in New York since 1993.

Frieze is the leading platform for modern and contemporary art for scholars, connoisseurs, collectors and the general public alike. Frieze comprises three magazines—frieze magazine, Frieze Masters Magazine and Frieze Week—and three international art fairs—Frieze London, Frieze Masters and Frieze New York. Additionally, Frieze organizes a program of special courses and lectures in London and abroad through Frieze Academy.

Frieze was founded in 1991 by Matthew Slotover and Amanda Sharp, with the launch of frieze magazine, the leading international magazine of contemporary art and culture. In 2003, Sharp and Slotover launched Frieze London art fair, which takes place each October in The Regent’s Park, London. In 2012, they launched Frieze New York, which occurs each May in Randall’s Island Park, and Frieze Masters, which coincides with Frieze London in October and is dedicated to art from ancient to modern. Frieze fairs are sponsored by global lead partner Deutsche Bank.

Outsider Art Fair
Founded in New York in 1993, the Outsider Art Fair is the original art fair concentrating specifically on self-taught art, and exhibits works by acknowledged masters, including James Castle, Aloïse Corbaz, Henry Darger, Thornton Dial, William Edmondson, Martín Ramírez, Judith Scott, Bill Traylor and Adolf Wölfli, as well as contemporary figures like M’onma, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Frank Walter and George Widener. Quickly recognized for its maverick spirit, OAF played a vital role in building a passionate collecting community and broader recognition for outsider art in the contemporary art arena.

In 2012, OAF was acquired by Wide Open Arts, a company formed by gallerist Andrew Edlin. With its debut edition in 2013, the fair established the Curated Space and OAF Talks programs. The 2013 fair enjoyed rave reviews and more than tripled its previous attendance records. Propelled by this success, Wide Open Arts launched Outsider Art Fair Paris, which will return for its 7th edition in October 2019, helping to reinvigorate the city’s long tradition of recognizing and championing art brut and self-taught artists.


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