SHUT THE DOOR AND LISTEN FROM OUTSIDE

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In conjunction with the Outsider Art Fair: New York, we present our Winter 2020 Catalogue, "Shut The Door And Listen From Outside" This 88-page catalog features recent finds in the genres of Outsider and Self-Taught Art with a few additions of related American Folk Art. (Please note that NOT all of these works will be exhibited at The Outsider Art Fair).

"Shut The Door And Listen From Outside" is a statement from Oblique Strategies, which is a set of cards each with a suggestion, directive, or constraint created by the artists Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt to encourage lateral thinking and to break creative blocks.

With this in mind, as an art dealer or collector, one may think, how will this look if I see it indirectly? From a room away? Through a window? Obscured through a crowd of people? Or as I quickly scroll through Instagram? This question is not a shallow proposition—we often see a particular artwork from an off-angle or perspective—not in optimal presentation. Indeed, if we think about it, we likely first approached an artwork we came to love because it looked good "from outside." It had something special going on from a small section we gleaned through a crowd of people, or the composition came into focus as we came towards it from another room.

As an artist, we may interpret this as another way of seeing. To purposely not see clearly or overtly—to create something anew based on partial information or hazy suggestions seen or heard. Or another way to look at a work in progress. View it from the side, across the room, or without glasses to see a fuzzy tonal map—is it still working for you?

STEVEN S. POWERS

WINTER 2020

SHUT THE DOOR AND

LISTEN FROM OUTSIDE


STEVEN S. POWERS

SHUT THE DOOR AND LISTEN FROM OUTSIDE

"Shut The Door And Listen From Outside" is a statement from Oblique

Strategies, which is a set of cards each with a suggestion, directive, or

constraint created by the artists Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt to encourage

lateral thinking and to break creative blocks.

With this in mind, as an art dealer or collector, one may think, how will this

look if I see it indirectly? From a room away? Through a window? Obscured

through a crowd of people? Or as I quickly scroll through Instagram? This

question is not a shallow proposition—we often see a particular artwork from

an off-angle or perspective—not in optimal presentation. Indeed, if we think

about it, we likely first approached an artwork we came to love because it

looked good "from outside." It had something special going on from a small

section we gleaned through a crowd of people, or the composition came into

focus as we came towards it from another room.

As an artist, we may interpret this as another way of seeing. To purposely not

see clearly or overtly—to create something anew based on partial information

or hazy suggestions seen or heard. Or another way to look at a work in

progress. View it from the side, across the room, or without glasses to see a

fuzzy tonal map—does it still work for you?

Our next fair is:

The Outsider Art Fair: New York

January 16-19, 2020

Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

Show information: outsiderartfair.com

W O R K S O F

& americana

A R T

109 3rd Place #2, Brooklyn, NY 11231 | 718.625.1715 or 917.518.0809 | stevenspowers.com | member: ADA


Folk Art Bacchus on Barrel (detail)

Northern France

Circa: Mid 19thC

Size: 7 1/2" (w) x 9 1/2" (h)


Dark Trees

Emile Brancha

Circa: 1930

Size: 36" (h) x

Provenance: G

York collection

Exhibited: Zab

1962.


Emile Branchard: Revisited

Room 521 in the expanded and rehung Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to

past director, Alfred H. Barr, Jr., and his groundbreaking exhibit of 1938,

"Masters of Popular Painting." The show focused on self-taught and artists

removed from the mainstream market or as they were called then, "folk artists,

or naives," today we may term them as "outsiders." Emile Branchard was one of

the artists represented in that seminal exhibit.

Branchard was born (1881) and raised on the streets of New York City and lived

in a large rooming house that his mother ran on Washington Square South. At

the age of thirty-seven, Emile Branchard, a former truck driver, longshoreman,

and policeman, found himself with tuberculosis and was forced to retire. He set

up a painting studio in the basement and created imagined landscapes. A border

of the house who recognized Branchard's talent entered a few paintings, without

his knowledge, to the Society of Independent Artists show of 1919. His works

were accepted and influential gallerist, Stephen Bourgeois offered him a solo

show later that same year (Bourgeois would then regularly exhibit his work until

1932).

Bourgeois remarked of Branchard's work at the Independent Show, "those two

small paintings appeared as the best

proof, that art is not a question of

colouristic or formalistic ability or

brush-acrobatics, but primarily a

question of vision."

rd (1881–1938)

24" (w)

raham Gallery; Zabriskie Gallery; Private New

.

riskie Gallery, ‘Emile Branchard,’ March/April

The progressive art cognoscenti of the

1920-30s advocated for artists on the

margins—artists that didn't rely on

painterly craft or apprenticeship to

express what they saw and how they saw


it. Holger Cahill wrote, "They are devoted to fact, as a thing to be known and

respected, not necessarily as a thing to be imitated. Surface realism means

nothing to these artists." Branchard himself stated, "I've never seen the ocean

or spent a day out of New York. All art is a dream."

“[Branchard was] Born like a poet

with a spontaneous gift.... Poets are

born and not made in schools. I

hope one day we will wake up to

the fact, that the art of rhythmical

painting is also a form of poetry

and unteachable.”

Branchard died in February

of 1938, just months before

the opening of the "Masters

of Popular Painting"

exhibit. In addition to the

five works hung at MOMA,

The Marie Harriman

Gallery held a memorial

exhibition later the same

year.

The noted art dealer Sidney

Janus included Branchard

—Stephen Bourgeois, 1932.

in his 1942 book, "They

Taught Themselves." Janus

recalls that when Branchard

wanted to paint, he would set up a canvas and while doing house chores, he

would pass the easel several times throughout the day—glancing at the blank

canvas and then "all at once [see] a picture upon it, and put it down in paint."

In addition to Janus, other New York galleries such as Graham Gallery and the

then young [Virginia] Zabriskie Gallery carried the torch for Branchard and

continued to exhibit his work in the 50s-70s. Additionally, the art dealer and

folk art advocate [Robert] Schoelkopf Gallery showed his work.


Through The Pines

Emile Branchard (1881–1938)

Circa: 1919

Size: 12 1/2" (h) x 16" (w)

Provenance: Bourgeois Galleries; Rabin & Krueger Gallery;

Private New York collection.

Exhibited: Bourgeois Galleries, ‘Emile Branchard,’

October/November 1919.


Branchard's work is held in several major museum collections including,

MOMA, The Met, The Hirshhorn, The Philadelphia Museum of Art,

Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Albright-Knox Museum.

Selected Bibliography:

Harriman Marie, Memorial Exhibition, Emile Branchard. New York: Marie

Harriman Gallery, 1938.

Zabriskie, Virginia, Emile Branchard : March 26th through April 14th 1962.

New York: Zabriskie Gallery, 1962.

Bourgeois, Stephen, Exhibition of Painting and Drawings by Emile Branchard.

New York: Bourgeois Galleries, 1919.

Janus, Sidney, They Taught Themselves : American Primitive Painters of the

20th century. New York: The Dial Press, 1942.

Cahill, Gauthier, Cassou, & Miller, Masters of Popular Painting, Modern

Primitives of Europe and America. New York: The Museum of Modern Art,

1938.

Hemphill and Weissman, Twentieth-century American folk art and artists.

New York: E.P. Dutton, 1974.


Small Landscape

Emile Branchard (1881–1938)

Circa: 1920

Size: 5 1/2" (h) x 6 1/4" (w)

Provenance: Zabriskie Gallery; Private

New York collection.


Moulton Mill

George E. Morgan (1870-1969)

Oil on canvas board

Circa: 1963

Size: 20 (h)" x 16" (w)

Provenance: Anne K. Wardwell; Mr. & Mrs. Sumner and Helen

Johnston; Joe Wetherell; Raymond Saroff and Howard Rose; Peter Brams

One of Morgan’s larger works, this is an imagined arial view above

Moulton’s Mill, which was originally built in 1790 as Adams Mill and

located on Branch Brook, which gets its water from Rock Haven Lake, in

Newfield, Maine

Exhibitions: The Playhouse, Boothbay, ME 1963; Farnsworth Art

Museum, Rockland, ME, July 16 - October 11, 1998; The Center for

Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago, IL, February 5 - April 10,1999

Literature: UNEXPECTED ELOQUENCE, The

Edith Blum Art Institute, Bard College,

Annandale-on-Hudson, 1990, by Howard Rose

“George E. Morgan; Self Taught Maine Artist,”

FOLK ART MAGAZINE, Summer 1998, p. 30,

Chippy Irvine.


Ice Houses

George Morgan (1870-1969)

Dated: January 1963

Oil on canvas board

Size: 16" (h) x 20" (w)

Provenance: Anne K. Wardwell, Farmingdale, ME; Mr. & Mrs. Sumner and

Helen Johnston, CT; Joe Wetherell, North Salem, NY; Raymond Saroff and

Howard Rose, New York, NY; Peter Brams, Jackson Heights, NY

From the 1820s to the end of the century, the Kennebec River was part of a

flourishing ice trade. In the winters, ice from the river was cut into blocks,

packed in sawdust, stored in warehouses, and shipped all over the world (as

far as India).

Because of its purity, ice from the Kennebec was known worldwide as

“Kennebec Diamonds.”

Exhibitions: The Playhouse,

Boothbay, ME 1963Farnsworth Art

Museum, Rockland, ME, “George E.

Morgan: Self Taught Painter of

Maine” July 16 - October 11, 1998;

The Center for Intuitive and

Outsider Art, Chicago, IL, “George

E. Morgan: Maine Streets” February

5 - April 10, 1999.

Illustrated and discussed in:

UNEXPECTED ELOQUENCE, 1990.

Early postcard illustrating the Randolph Ice House & Mill.


Memory Painting of Kiva

Anonymous

Oil on plywood with taped labels

Circa: 1950-1960s

Size: 35" (w) x 18" (h)

A massive wave of Latvian immigrants came to the United States after

World War II. Having Suffered through Soviet and Nazi occupations,

hundreds of thousands fled and spent years in European refugee camps

before some of them immigrated to the United States in the early 1950s.

The work calls to mind the paintings of George Morgan, who composed

memory paintings from a bird's-eye's perspective. Intuitively we use this

aerial device as a method of recall.


The Disobidient Prophet

Signed, “Inez’

Oil on canvas board

Circa: 1950s-1960

Size: 16" (h) x 20" (w) (sight)

A label on the back reads, “Painted by the late - INEZ

- a former patient in Memoroal Hospital.

Purchased from her for $50.00.

—Mrs. B.L.S. November, 1961.”

Unfortunately we have not identified “Inez” or, “Mrs.

B.L.S.,” but objectively the naive painting is quite

good (we agree with Mrs. B.L.S.’s commitment).

I Kings 13:20-25 reads, “When the man of God had finished eating

and drinking, the prophet who had brought him back saddled his

donkey for him. As he went on his way, a lion met him on the road

and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both

the donkey and the lion standing beside it.”


The Crucifixion

Lucia Wilcox (1902-1974)

Ink and watercolor on paper

Circa: 1972/73

Size: 14 1/2" (h) x 8 1/2" (w) (sight)

Provenance: Private New York Collection.

Lucia Wilcox painted this shortly after becoming blind from a tumor

pressing on her optic nerve.

An immigrant from Lebanon she moved to New York in 1938 and

settled in Amagansett in 1942 and was very close friends with Lee

Krasner, Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning.

Though Lucia (as she was simply known) struggled to gain traction

with her earlier work—her “blind” work found an audinece.

On painting blind she said, “I see better than anybody. I have

eliminated all the details. My mind is free of static. I don't have any

distractions.”

In 1974, shortly before her death, Lucia had a solo exhibition of her

“galaxy” paintings at the Leo Castelli Gallery.


Variations of the Cross

Mrs. George Dunham

Black ink on paper

Circa: 1940-1950

Size: 8”(w) x 10 1/2” (h) (each)

A collection of over one hundred variations of the

cross painted by a midwestern wife of a pastor.

Though the cross is now primarily associated with

Christianity, it is an ancient symbol used by past

cultures throughout time and the world over.

Iconographically there are four basic variations:

1) Crux quadrata (a cross of four equal arms);

2) Crux immissa (with a long stem ratio);

3) Crux commissa (based on the Greek letter tau or

“T”); and

4) Crux decussata (based on the Roman decussis or

10, “X”).


"Perpitraight, Peerless, Perponderant"

Melvin Way (1954-)

Black ink on paper

Circa: 2000

Size: 5 1/2" (w) x 4" (h) (sight)

The Outsider Artist Melvin Way suffers from schizophrenia,

bi-polar disorder, and diabetes.

Way has stated, “All my works have to go thru emissions, baptisms,

and transmigrations before I release them into the stratosphere, I

carry 500 drawings at a time in my raincoat, and they go thru rain

sleet and snow, sometimes staying in my pocket for 6 months at a

time.”

Art critic Jerry Salz says of Way’s work, “[He is] a mystic visionary

genius...one of the greatest living American artists. Melvin Way

makes knotted diagrams of numbers, letters, lines, and arrows that

look like alchemical equations.”


The Key To My Fantasy

Pen & Ink on canvas board

Circa: 1960-70

Size: 16”(w) x 20” (h)

This is a remarkable

illustration by an as of yet

unidentified artist. The

adeptly rendered nude

figure and intricate design

are masterfully worked and

executed.

Atypically, the substrate is

canvas board (not paper or

bristol board). The artist

must have used a steel pen

versus a mechanical

rapidograph-type pen as the

tips would have broken

over and over.


Folk Art Cane

Wood, paint, glass, ball bearings.

Circa: 1920-30

Size: 36" (h)

Provenance: American Primitive

Gallery; Peter Brams Collection.

Folk Art cane by a “known

unknown” carver. A small group of

carvings with stylistic similarities have

been shown to be related and carved by

the same hand. The most known of this

group is a particularly strange monkey

with an intense face. Several of these

figures (including the aforementioned

monkey) were donated to the American

Folk Art Museum by Dorothea and Leo

Rabkin, others have been found here

and there. Likely Midwestern origin.

What identifies carvings in this group

are their overall facial features, glass

eyes and unusual mouth treatment. The

cane herein is very similar to the

monkey.


Folk Art Carving of Big Foot

Wood, wood stain, paint and glass.

Circa: 1920-30

Size: 24" (h) x 10 1/2" (w) x 6 1/2" (d)

Sensational carving of a hairy

humanoid ape-man or Big Foot-like

figure.

The hardwood body and head are

carved from the solid while the jointed

arms and hands are strung like a doll—

the large feet are nailed on.


The Snake Handler

Oil on canvas

Circa: 1930

Size: 39”(w) x 69” (h)

Provenance: Larry Dumont Collection; Marna Anderson;

Frederick Hughes; Chris Huntington Collection, 1974

Large and engaging painting of an African-American woman

wearing a grass skirt handling three snakes in tall grass.

“Found in Bangor, Maine,” this sideshow or carnival banner

was featured in the seminal 1974 Folk Art auction of the Mr.

& Mrs. Christopher Huntington Collection.


Spirit Drawing

Slate, chalk

Circa: 1910-20

Size: 6 1/4" (w) x 10" (h)

Portrait of a man on slate with a message from

beyond in red chalk. This is the very best preserved

example of one of these slates that I have seen.

Transcription below.

“Dear Caran(?), Possessor of Earth Life, again I reach out from the

Land of Souls to you my dear --- of earth, I bring to you the joy

and comfort and health and peace of mind that you need in old

age, but you are just ripening like the beautiful fruit -- and the

orchard by and by gravitate to when you belong to the Shores of

Eternal Bliss and happiness, be of good cheer for I will receive

you into the summer C---- with upon --- and bid you welcome to

our heaven (?) over him and to be again as our whole family

never --- to part. For my love for you has grown in its purity and

as a Husband and Father I pray aimed a --- for you all angels.

Bless you, for I am always with you, Smith Stehl”


Wax Anatomical Model - Cross Section of a Head

C. Kellner

Wax, pigment

Circa: 1910-20

Size: 10 1/2" (w) x 11" (h)

A well detailed anatomical model of a cross

section of a human head further divided into

longitudinal sections.


Cyanotype of a Cadaver

Unique cyanotype photogram on paper

Circa: 1930-1940

Size: 13 1/2”(w) x 36” (h)

Provenance: Gary Edwards Gallery.

Though created for scientific purposes, this striking image of

the male body with its stark composition and delicate tonal

ranges of cyan has an unintentional air of reverence—a

haunting witness mark—not unlike the Shroud of Turin or a

Buddhist scroll.

This work is part of a small group of cyanotypes by the same

unknown photographer/physician. Others in the series are

held in the collections of MOMA, The Metropolitan Museum,

and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Reference: Burns and Wilson, Cyanotypes: Photography’s Blue

Period. Worcester Art Museum, 2016, pps.68-71


This small masterwork by Materson recalls a day when Materson as a young

teenager skipped school and played strip poker with a couple of older girls. The

event was exciting, but not in the way that he had imagined. His figure lay in the

scene like Christ with outstretched arms and a loincloth (tighty-whities).

From The American Visionary Art Museum, "Born March 15, 1954 in Milford,

Connecticut, Raymond Materson grew up in the Midwest. He earned a G.E.D. and

attended Thomas Jefferson College as a drama and philosophy major, but was

plagued by a serious drug problem. To support his habit, he committed a string of

robberies with a shoplifted toy gun, was eventually arrested and sentenced to 15

years in a state penitentiary in Connecticut. To keep himself sane Ray taught

himself to embroider, using unraveled socks for thread and a sewing needle

secured from a prison guard. He stitched miniature tapestries depicting life

outside prison walls and sold his works to other inmates for cigarettes. Most of

Materson's miniature embroideries include approximately 1,200 stitches per

square inch and measure less than 2.5 x 3 inches.

Since his release from prison in 1995, Ray has worked as a teacher, counselor,

caseworker, program director, design consultant and speaker. With the help of his

former wife Melanie, he published his autobiography, "Sins and Needles: A Story

of Spiritual Mending." In 2003, he became the first artist to ever receive the Robert

Wood Johnson Foundation's Innovators Combating Substance Abuse Award.

Materson's work has been featured in numerous exhibitions at The American

Museum of Folk Art in New York City, The American Visionary Art Museum in

Baltimore, MD, The Center for Contemporary Art in Seattle, WA, The Boston

Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The New Museum of Contemporary Art in New

York City to name just a few."

Provenance: Peter Brams Collection.

Illustrated & Discussed in: Sins & Needles, p.27


Public School Girls

Ray Materson (1954 –)

Unraveled socks

Circa: 1994

Size: 2 1/4" (h) x 2 3/4" (w) (sight)

12" (h) x 14" (w) (framed)


Two Figures

Frederick Hastings (1919-2013)

Steel, air-dried clay, paint, lead and masking tape

Circa: 1960-80

Sizes: (left) 6 5/8" (h) / (right) 4" (h)

The works of Frederick Hastings were discovered a few years ago, and much

of the details of his life and work remains a mystery. These two figures are

made from steel armatures, air dried clay, paint, and masking tape bikini

bottoms.

What is known is that he lived outside of Philadelphia, was an architect and

may have had family money. It is also known that he was into trains and

built elaborate sets.

The figures are very well made, with steel armatures or skeletons and then

carefully modeled with some air-dried clay or modeling putty. Most have

applied paper bikinis, and several have wigs of cotton or wool. Most of the

figures come with hand-made boxes, custom fit to accommodate the size

and posture of each.

At first glance, the figures appear hermaphroditic or trans-gendered.

However, none have genitals—just muscular bodies with breasts. And

though a significant effort is put into modeling and composing the figures,

there appears to be no attempt to idealize or beautify the faces—which are

often quite severe and grotesque.


Folk Art Fetish Figure

Wood, wheat paste/sawdust glue

composite, paint, pitch varnish

Circa: 1900

Size: 5 5/8" (h) x 1 1/2" (w)

I regard this small figure as one of the

most mysterious and striking figural

carvings that I have ever seen.

The body is carved from hardwood,

and the rest of the female figure has

applied composite features, including

her face, breasts, belly button, and

pubic area. The composite material

appears to be made from a wheat paste

mixed with glue and sawdust.

The result of the applied facial “mask”

looks like transplanted skin. The lips

of her face and vagina have traces of

applied dark red paint.

The whole is finished with a natural

tree pitch varnish.

One can only speculate why this doll

was carved. I have never seen a

similar, but believe it to be more fetish

in nature versus a simple play doll.


Induction Center

Thomas King Baker (1911 - 1972)

Watercolor, charcoal, and calendar scrap on craft paper

Size: 13 1/4"(h) x 9" (w) (sight)

Exhibited: Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, MO, 1997

Illustrated and discussed in: Oh For Pity’s Sake, We’ve Already Seen This

Opera: The Art of Thomas King Baker; p. 37

Thomas King Baker was an insurance underwriter by day, self-taught,

basement artist by night. He and his wife, Mila Hoover, were middleclass

socialites and enjoyed the opera, galleries, museums and a vibrant

nightlife. King was friendly with local artists and was a collector. Among

friends and family, his art-making was a poorly kept secret—they knew

of his passion but were unaware of the extent of King’s breadth and body

of work. King never exhibited while he was alive.

King died from the effects of alcoholism in 1972.

In 1991, Thomas McCormick, an art dealer, stumbled upon a few

interesting paintings that he could not immediately identify. After some

detective work, McCormick figured out that the works were by Baker.

McCormick contacted Baker’s wife Mila, who was still alive and

cataloged a large cache of works that Mila had kept together.

King’s paintings, illustrations, and sketchbooks were exhibited at the

Albrecht-Kemper Museum in 1997.


In 2007, the bulk of King’s estate was donated to Intuit: The Center for

Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago.

The two works herein illustrate King’s use of scrap materials and his

gifted use of line and color. Like one of the works herein, King

produced several works with calendar fragments. King was not

ignorant of art history and contemporary art and the use of block

numbers on, “Induction Center,” is likely a nod to Jasper Johns.

Edward, Edward

Thomas King Baker (1911 - 1972)

Oil on shirt cardboard on craft paper

Size: 12" (h) x 9" (w) (sight)

Exhibited: Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, MO, 1997

Illustrated and discussed in: Oh For Pity’s Sake, We’ve Already Seen This

Opera: The Art of Thomas King Baker; p. 58


Satan’s Strange Fruit

Anonymous

Graphite and crayon on paper

Circa: 1960s

Size: 11" (h) x 14" (w)

A graphically strong anonymous drawing with

demonic beasts and semi-mythological beings.


Study of a Male Nude &

Young Highlander with

Raised Arm

John Kane (1860–1934)

Circa: 1930

Pencil on note paper

Size: 8 1/2" x 5 1/2"

Provenance: Galerie St.

Etienne

A rare John Kane double-sided pencil sketch. Kane is regarded as one of the masters of selfartists.

On the above or recto, note how Kane makes room for the hands to complete the sketch—h

while drawing the figure's arms, so he placed them to the lower left. Above the hands, Kane

English painters that he must have been studying.

The verso illustrates a young boy in a Highlander outfit (Kane would use this figure in a few

The writing on this side lists the colors of the rainbow (Roy G. Biv).

References: The Highland boy relates to figures in the following; Highland Hollow, Scotch D

and Scotch Day, Kennywood (Arkus 68, 71 and 73).


taught American

e ran out of room

lists 18th-19thC

finished paintings).

ay at Kennywood

verso


Circus Figure

Elie Nadelman (1882-1946)

Circa: 1938-46

Size: 8 1/4” (height without base)

Signed with initials EN on reverse; inscribed 'Inwood Pottery New

York #4' on a label attached to reverse.

Provenance: Zabriskie Gallery, New York, May 6, 1970;

Private collection since.

Exhibitions: Nadelman Memorial Exhibition, MOMA, 1948; 'Elie

Nadelman, Sculptor of Modern Life,' Whitney Museum, 2003.

Literature: Barbara Haskell, 'Elie Nadelman, Sculptor of Modern Life,'

Whitney Museum, New York, 2003, p.190, fig. 212

One of the more dynamic of the Nadelman plaster figures. The

female circus figure with an outstretched right arm and her left on

her hip (which creates a wonderful negative space).


Southern Folk Art Limestone Carving of a Kissing Couple

Kentucky (found)

Circa: 1930-40

Size: 8” x 8” x 9” (h)

A dynamic carving of a nude male and female embraced in a

kiss with the man’s hand on her upper thigh. She is not

resisting, but her slight push may be a signal to slow it down

a bit.

Carvings as such in limestone are quite rare in that this small

sculpture packs a lot of life into the stone. The work is carved

in-the-round, and the figures have remarkable tension

between them.

It was found in a river 65 years plus ago in Prestonsburg,

Floyd County, Kentucky.


Bird Family

James W. Washington, Jr. (1909-2000)

Black granite, redwood burl

Dated: 1973

Size: 12 1/4" L x 8 1/8" D x 7 1/2" H

Exhibited at: Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA, "The Spirit in the

Stone: The Visionary Art of James W. Washington, Jr." March 10 - April

16, 1989.

Bird Family is a large work of a mother bird protecting and feeding three

nestlings under her wing. The solid black granite metaphorically

reinforces the strength of the matriarch, while Washington's sensitive

carving conveys a certain intimacy and the fragility of life.

James W. Washington, Jr. was an

African-American, self-taught

artist. Born in Gloster,

Mississippi, Washington settled in

Seattle as a government

electricion. Washington’s spirited,

but quiet carvings are seen as a

cross between two other direct

carvers; the African American Folk

Artist William Edmondson (1874-

1951) and American sculptor John

Flannagan (1895-1942).


Man in Coffin

James ‘Son Ford’ Thomas

(1926-1993)

Unfired clay, paint, wire

Circa: 1980

Size: 8 1/2" (l) x 4 1/2" (w)

James ‘Son Ford’ Thomas

was a self-taught artist and

blues musician from

Mississippi—to earn extra

money he worked as a grave

digger

‘Son Ford’ Thomas’ work has

been widely exhibited and

collected and was featured in

two seminal exhibits; Black

Folk Art in America, 1930–

1980, organized by the

Corcoran Gallery of Art in

Washington, DC., and

Outliers and American

Vanguard Art organized by

the National Gallery of Art,

2018.


Although Miroslav Tichý

(1926-2011) was

primarily known as a

street photographer, he

had a remarkable hand

for drawing.

During the 1970s Tichý began experimenting with monotype etchings. As with his

tools for photography, his materials for engravings were improvised from recycled

scraps of metal, plastic or wood.

Tichý’s neighbor and come-biographer Roman Buxbaum, observed, “After

scratching out the drawing he applied paint with the palm of his hand and then,

applying pressure with a spoon, transferred it to paper.” The blurred lines and ink

smears from this imperfect process resulted in etchings, not unlike his

photographs, filled with a hazy and mysterious atmosphere.


Untitled [Woman Turned Right - Maroon]

Miroslav Tichý (1926-2011)

Monotype etching

Circa: 1970s (n.d.)

Size: 7 1/4" (w) x 13 1/2" (h)

Untitled [Woman Turned Left - Indigo]

Miroslav Tichý (1926-2011)

Monotype etching

Circa: 1970s (n.d.)

Size: 5 3/4" (w) x 11 1/4" (h)


The Birds & The Bees

Ange Boaretto (1920-??)

France

Circa: 1950s-60s

Size: 43" x 8" (sight) / 48" x 12" (framed)

Three large one piece, six paneled erotic

paintings by self-taught artist Boaretto. Ange

Boaretto was a master shoemaker in Southern

France and self-taught painter.

Although he had some recognition during his

lifetime and a small exhibit at the Centre Georges

Pompidou in 1979, entitled ‘Le Bible du Bottier’

(The Boot-makers Bible), he has mostly been

forgotten.


Alan Bricker

Untitled (Green Man with Orange Hands)

Acrylic on foamcore

48” x 17 1/4”

Circa: Mid-1990s

Alan Bricker was an artist discovered by Tina Anton as part of the

Art Program for the Homeless, a not for profit art exploration

lasting 3 years in NYC.

Bricker was brought to her attention by a caseworker in an East

Village homeless shelter. Tina and her husband Aarne Anton

(American Primitive Gallery) got excited by his paintings on scrap

cardboard and found immediate response from collectors.

Encouraged by the response Bricker took Tina and Aarne to his

storage space to see more. The closet-like space was piled to the

ceiling with scrap cardboard that had images and words painted

on them. This space was a chaotic jumble akin to a rats nest, but

each piece he pulled out was fantastic, each in a different way.

Shortly after Bricker seemed to get unhinged and then

disappeared. The Antons looked for him at the storage building,

but was told that Bricker had stopped paying his rental and the

contents were discarded.


Our Rug

Pearl Blauvelt (1893-1987)

Pennsylvania

Graphite and colored pencil on notebook paper

Circa: 1936

Size: 10 3/8" (w) x 7 1/4" (h) (sight)

Provenance: Kerry Schuss; Private Midwestern Collection.

This small drawing illustrates a folk art hooked rug.

A group of Blauvelt’s work is featured in the rehung MOMA,

Room 521, The Alfred H. Barr Gallery.

Blauvelt’s work is in several notable private and institutional

collections including: Museum of Modern Art, New York;

Museum of Everything, London; Pennslyvania Academy of the

Fine Arts, Philadelphia.


L. C. Spooner

Blue Mound, Illinois

Red and black ink on paper

Circa: 1936

Size: 10 3/8" (w) x 7 1/4" (h) (sight)

Provenance: American Primitive Gallery; Private New York

Collection.

Lee Cordova Spooner or “L. C.” as he signed his drawings was

indeed an inventor of practical things (he held some patents),

but he also aimed to create visionary machines based on

self-propulsion, e.g. self-propelled motors, self-propelled trash

cans, self-propelled scales, etc.

Though these inspired concepts never materialized, Spooner

left behind dozens of detailed mechanical drawings that often

show multiple angles and variations of these extraordinary,

but never realized contraptions.

A large number of Spooner’s drawings are in the collection of

the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation.


Eddy Mumma (1908-1986)

Oil on board in artist painted frame

Circa: 1978

Size: 22 1/2" (w) x 18 1/2" (h) (including frame)

Provenance: Private New York Collection.

In 1966, after the death of his wife, at the age of fifty-eight

Mumma moved to Gainesville, Florida to be closer to his

daughter. He suffered from diabetes and eventually lost both

of his legs.

During his lifetime Mumma refused to exhibit his work and

after his death, his work was sold by his family.

Mumma’s work is now in the collection of several major

museums such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum;

The American Visionary Art Museum; The American Folk Art

Museum; & The Kohler Foundation.


Folk Art Bacchus on Barrel

Northern France

Circa: Mid 19thC

Size: 7 1/2" (w) x 9 1/2" (h)

A rare folk art ceramic

sculpture of a grotesque

magistrate atop a brandy

keg.

The earthernware figure has

a manganese glaze with

kaolin highlights to his facial

features and hands.

The CT Historical Society

has a trade sign for the

Bacchus Inn or Norwich,

which features a man atop a

keg. This highly stylized

piece of folk art is a varient

of the Dutch ‘Bobbejakken.’

Literature: A related example

is pictured in, Poteries et

céramiques anciennes du

Cotentin by Leberruyer

Pierre, Lepoitevin Lucien, p.

168, plate 99.


A Group of Fine Gogottes (offered individually)

Fontainbleu France

Oligocene epoch (33.9 million to 23 million years old)

Size: 22" (l) / 9 1/2" (h) / 9" (h) / 13" (h)


A gogotte is a millions years old naturally shaped mineral concretion formed of tiny

quartz fragments held together by calcium carbonate. Principally found in

Fontainebleau, France, these mother-nature made sculptures have inspired artists from

Jean Arp, Henry Moore and Louise Bourgeois. Louis XIV favored them and the have been

exhibited at Versailles since the late 17thC.


Wavy Stripe Painted Southern Blanket Chest

Virginia (found)

Circa: 1850-70

Size: 34 3/4” (w) x 18 1/2” (d) x 24” (h)

A fantastic and lively Southern blanket chest (Virginia). Six board chest of

deep proportions. Made from southern pine with applied moldings and

conical feet. Wavy green and yellow stain all around (except backside). It has

been suggested that this may be African American made/painted.


Folk Art Carved Sign Language Hands

Circa: 1920

Size: each hand measures ~1"(w) x 2” (h)

A complete set of individually carved hands each

carved to represent a letter in the American Sign

Language (ALS) alphabet. The set has a small

carved wooden card that reads, “1920, By Willie.”

The other side of the card is carved with two hands

shaped in sign language characters representing,

“T C”


Snake Den

Wood burl

Circa: 1900-1920

Size: 16" (l) x 11 1/4" (h)

A wonderful twisty burl

mass resembling a

writhing snake den. One

snake is carved from a

branch growing through

the burl mass, while

others have nail eyes

upon their suggestive

heads.


Gas Station Beauty Queen

Enamel paint on masonite

Circa: 1960

Size: 72" (h) x 24" (w)


Tunnel of Love

Vintage glass tubing, neon gas, wood

Circa: 1940-50s

Size: 26 1/2" (h) x 19" (w) x 4" (d)

Vintage neon sign from a carnival or theme park.

The not-so-subtle female anatomical inner design

has not been overlooked.


Willian (Bill) Anhang was born in Poland in 1931 and immigrated to

Canada with his family in 1939 to escape the Nazi occupation. As a young

man, Anhang trained as an engineer and worked in telecommunications. In

1975, A Guru spoke to him and said he must become an artist. Since then

Anhang’s has devoted himself to bring “new light to the planet.”

The enamel works seen here are among Anhang’s earliest works. They are

small-scale abstractions—many with suggestions of another world or grand

universe. They have undeniable energy. Well composed, not too busy and

with intense, saturated color.

Anhang later incorporated real light into his work—paintings illuminated by

hundreds if not thousands of blinking and programmed LEDs and fiber

optics.

These early enamel works may be seen

as his acoustic period, like Dylan

before Newport, and then he plugged

in, went electric, and never really went

back.

Anhang’s work was recently exhibited

at American Folk Art Museum in the

exhibit, When the Curtain Never

Comes Down, 2015.

The Canadian Broadcasting

Corporation (CBC) produced a 20

minute documentary on Anhang,

Billsville, and is available on Youtube.

Photo of William (Bill) Anhang in his studio.


Untitled [Clipped Galaxy]

William Anhang (1931-)

Enamel on copper

Circa: 1979

Size: 7 3/8" (w) x 3 7/8" (h)

Untitled [Green Trails]

William Anhang (1931-)

Enamel on copper

Circa: 1979

Size: 5 3/4" (w) x 3 7/8" (h)


STEVEN S. POWERS

W O R K S O F

A R T

& americana

109 3rd Place #2, Brooklyn, NY 11231 | 718.625.1715 or 917.518.0809

stevenspowers.com | member: ADA

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