Gordon, Harold Theodore (Ted) – American Artist

Harold Theodore (Ted) Gordon (American, born 1924)

Theodore Harold (Ted) Gordon’s biographer Roger Cardinal explains the intensity of Gordon’s pictorial expression as “a short-circuit in the creative current, whereby the self-taught draftsman, absorbed by his image-making, becomes a perpetual motion machine, an instrument of what the Surrealists called ‘automatism’ or spontaneous, unmonitored creation.” A government worker for decades, Gordon avoids most social relations, preferring life at home with his wife and the solitary and [...] Click here to continue reading.

Dial, Thornton – African-American Artist

Thornton Dial (American, 1928 to 2016)

Thornton Dial was a pioneering African-American artist who produced exuberant drawings and paintings and large scale assemblages and sculptures with oil paint and the found material he collected. The work by Dial most admired in the art world are his assemblages commenting on race and the place of African-Americans in the larger society. Dial rightfully credited Bill Arnett, founder of the Souls Run Deep Foundation, as the person [...] Click here to continue reading.

Doyle Sam – American Artist

Sam Doyle (American, 1906 to 1985)

Sam Doyle’s major works are on panels of used corrugated roofing tin or plywood sheets, painted with enamel or latex house paint. Often oversized, with some as large as 6′ x 10′, they are a vibrant visual documentation of the Gullah lore and culture on St. Helena, the small island off the coast of South Carolina where he lived his life. St. Helena was virtually isolated until the [...] Click here to continue reading.

Johnson, Lester Frederick – American Artist

Lester Frederick Johnson (American, 1919-2010)

Lester Johnson had his first solo show at the Artists Gallery in 1951. In the 1960s, he was a maverick associate of the Abstract Expressionists in New York, who regarded him as talented, but misguided. Still, he was one of the few figurative artists voted into their famous weekly gathering known as the Eighth Street Club. In the 1970s, Johnson shifted from somber paintings depicting grim, boxy figures in [...] Click here to continue reading.

Finster, Howard – American Artist

Howard Finster (American, 1916-2001)

“The Lord spoke and he said: Give up the repair of lawn mowers; Give up the repair of bicycles; Give up sermons; Paint my pictures… And that’s what I done.” Howard Finster is among the most prolific and best-known outsider artists. He turned his house in Georgia into “Paradise Garden”, a venue to display his vision of preaching through art, with a constant display of work for sale to the [...] Click here to continue reading.

Purvis Young – African-American Artist

Purvis Young (American, 1943 to 2010).

A self-taught artist from the south, the majority of Young’s works depict urban life and figures surrounded by thematic imagery. Frequently rendered subjects include looming eyes, horses and trucks. Young grew up in the inner-city ghetto of Overtown and spent part of his early life incarcerated. His idealistic struggle for freedom, peace, equality and escape are common themes throughout his paintings.

Young collects discarded materials, including countertops, plywood, [...] Click here to continue reading.

Zinelli, Carlo – Italian Artist

Carlo Zinelli (Italian, 1916 to 1974)

Carlo Zinelli is a canonical Art Brut figure. He suffered from schizophrenia exacerbated by his experiences as a soldier during the Spanish Civil War and WWII. In 1947 he was committed to a psychiatric hospital, but it was not until ten years later that he was allowed to work in a painting studio on the hospital grounds. Zinelli painted for up to eight hours a day, producing nearly [...] Click here to continue reading.

Terao Katsuhiro – Japanese Artist

Terao Katsuhiro (Japanese, born 1960)

Terao Katsuhiro lived with his parents and worked in his father’s metallurgy plant in Osaka for twenty years until the factory closed. His parents died soon after. Traumatized by both these events, he found comfort in metal: thinking about it, walking in search of metal parts, assembling sculptures, and sketching the diagrams he calls “plans”. He fills small and large pages with gripping abstractions of beams and girders using [...] Click here to continue reading.

Rogrig, Daniel E. (Don) – American Artist

Daniel E. (Don) Rohrig (American, 1911-1969)

Daniel Rohrig never trained as an artist. As a boy in his childhood hometown of Harmony, Indiana, he would use photos of movie stars and actors from film magazines as models for his drawings and paintings. Serving in the Pacific during WWII, Rohrig became fascinated with the art and culture of Japan and turned his attention to the depiction of Japanese movie stars. He envisions his favorite Japanese [...] Click here to continue reading.

Hunter, Clementine – African-American Artist – Louisiana

Clementine Hunter (1887 to 1988)

Clementine Hunter (pronounced Clementeen) was born to Creole parents, Antoinette Adams and Janvier Reuben, in late December of 1886 or early January of 1887 at Hidden Hill Plantation near Cloutierville, Louisiana. Hunter would never learn to read or write, later saying she only had about ten days of schooling, and was put to work in the fields when she was very young. At 15, she left Hidden Hill, which [...] Click here to continue reading.

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