New Zealand Artists Exhibit in Liège 19 Jun 2012
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The MADMusée is part of a network of galleries in Europe specialising in the work of self-taught artists. The MADMusée specialises in the works of artists who have experienced mental illness, internationally minded in programming. This is the first major exhibition of self-taught artists from New Zealand.
Stuart Shepherd, based in Wellington, was invited to Liège to curate the show, and will return in September to speak about the artists and self-taught art in New Zealand more broadly. Shepherd is one of New Zealand’s leading advocates for self-taught art. He has previously hosted booths for the country at New York’s Outsider Art Fair.
Andrew Blythe and Martin Thompson are among the artists Shepherd showed at the Outsider Art Fair. Blythe, an Aucklander, began working with pencil and Indian ink as a form of catharsis, and is well regarded internationally; he has works in American collections and has had a solo show in Paris. Blythe is represented in New Zealand by Tim Melville Gallery. Thompson, from Dunedin, creates incredibly intricate drawings with felt tip pen on graph paper. In 2005, his work was exhibited at the American Folk Art Museum.
The other two artists included are Susan King and Jim Dornan. King, who lives in Auckland, stopped talking at the age of four, but has created complex and expressive drawings for much of her adult life. Dornan died in 1981, and his work has been preserved by a neighbour and exhibited posthumously. Dornan developed his own colour theory and saw his work as “Get Well Research”.
This exhibition will act as an introduction to these artists for many European audiences, and will also allow their works to be seen in relation to work by international artists on display simultaneously at MADMusée. After the exhibition, work by all four artists will be added to the MADMusée’s archive, allowing it to be accessible in future for study and other exhibitions.
‘Local Knowledge’ runs at MADMusée in Liège until September 9th.
Anna Blair is a freelance writer and architectural historian studying hotels from the 1920s. She currently divides her time between Paris and East London. Further work can be found at her blog – Dispatches from Europe.
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