Self-Taught And Outsider Art: The Anthony Petullo Collection

Self-Taught And Outsider Art: The Anthony Petullo Collection

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University of Illinois Press
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This spectacular volume reproduces in full color some 150 pieces from the Anthony Petullo Collection, an extraordinary assemblage of paintings and drawings produced by individuals working outside the perimeter of conventional art training and traditions. Some of the pieces are fanciful, even whimsical. Others are haunting in their unembellished depiction of vulnerability and terror. Some are spare; others are crowded with figures. Some exhibit a childlike simplicity; others are almost sculpted in their precision and clarity.
The thirty-six European and North American artists represented in Self-Taught and Outsider Art include a hospital janitor, a factory worker, concentration camp suvivors, a truck driver, a guard at the Tate Gallery, a self-proclaimed fortuneteller and healer, and a female impersonator and Hollywood screenwriter. Their canvases include paper, wood, long strips of calico cloth, and cardboard. One artist paints with both hands simultaneously; another finds it difficult to paint except amid the chaos of his family. Many began painting quite late in life; others had early dreams of pursuing art that were deferred by economic and family circumstances. Some have been institutionalized or incarcerated; others have struggled with terrible poverty and personal loss.

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