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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Outsider Art Fair

Various venues / New York / Art

In the 1940s, the French artist Jean Dubuffet began collecting “works produced by artists unscathed by artistic culture,” as he put it in a 1949 text describing his term art brut (“unrefined art”). These artists—psychiatric patients, psychics, and untrained social recluses—worked “from their own depths,” Dubuffet wrote, “and not from the conventions of classical or fashionable art.” Today, such creations are known as outsider art, expressions of subcultural, rural, or folk traditions that offer an alternative to establishment art. Following the example of its sister show in Paris, which concluded last October, New York’s 29th OAF likewise includes both digital and in-person components. It is also responding to social-distancing requirements by expanding its venues, making this the first-ever citywide edition of the fair. Hundreds of works created during the last century will break ground in a variety of new spaces, from Electric Lady Studios to Shin Gallery and beyond. —C.J.F.

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