Outsiders In Paris

The Outsider Art Fair is returning to Paris this week - from the 19 to 21 October. This will be the sixth fair dedicated to outsider art taking place in the French capital, and this year, the fair is being held at Atelier Richelieu. Over thirty exhibitors will be displaying artwork. In previous years, works by names such as James Castle, Aloïse Corbaz, Henry Darger, Martín Ramírez, and Judith Scott have been featured - alongside those by contemporary artists. But what is outsider art?

Outsider art is a reaction against the mainstream contemporary art market, which places great importance on intellectualism, artistic trends and mimicking cliches of classical art. Outsider artists are those who take inspiration from their own backgrounds and experiences, who have little or no contact with mainstream art and were self-taught. 

One classic example of an outsider art is Aloïse Corbaz - one of the very few recognised female outsider artists. Aloïse was born in Switzerland in 1886. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1918 and committed to an asylum. Separated from the rest of society, Aloïse started drawing and writing poetry. The subject matter of Aloïse's drawings tended to be voluptuous women, depicted in vivid colours. Her artwork was eventually discovered by Jean Dubuffet, founder of the Art Brut movement. Dubuffet believed Aloïse cured herself by ceasing to fight against her illness, by choosing to cultivate it and make use of it instead.

Discover outsider art at the Outsider Art Fair Paris at the Atelier Richelieu. If you have an interest in Japanese boro textiles, take a look at Gallery Kojima, who will be exhibiting their beautiful antique boro pieces at the Fair.

Blog post by Jessica Edney

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