Untitled (l’Amérique Stubborn Président)
The collection of Audrey B. Heckler is emblematic of the growth of the field of self-taught art in the United States, which manifests a strong interest for African American artists, a consistent attention on American classics, a curiosity for European art brut, and a search for international discoveries. For the last twenty-seven years, Heckler—a long time and committed patron of the American Folk Art Museum—has surrounded herself with excellent examples by the most significant artists associated to this art niche, among them Emery Blagdon, Aloïse Corbaz, William Edmondson, August Klett, Augustin Lesage, Martín Ramírez, Thornton Dial, and Anna Zemánková.Learn more
By its nature, the signature quilt is meant to be read not only as a whole but also square by square. Although the form is known by various names—including friendship, album, and fundraising quilts—what all of these types share in common is the composite nature of the quilting project, in which individual signed blocks have been brought together to form a larger design. Often a group undertaking, each block was typically named for, and frequently made and/or paid for by, a different member of a community.Learn more
Everyone has a story to tell—a life lived, witness to and participant in events both private and shared. Such moments are captured by American folk and self-taught artists in powerful visual narratives that offer firsthand testimony to chapters in the unfolding story of America from its inception to the present. American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection showcases more than seventy stellar works of folk and self-taught art from the museum’s premier collection. Beautiful, diverse, and truthful, the art illuminates the thoughts and experiences of individuals with an immediacy that is palpable and unique to these expressions.Learn more
PHOTO | BRUT: Collection Bruno Decharme & Compagnie presents the first international survey of self-taught photography. Gathering works dating from 1870 to the present by artists from various countries, the exhibition reveals the critical potential of this still relatively unexplored segment of the research on art brut.
Accra-based artist and craftsman Paa Joe (b. 1947), known for his figurative coffins that draw from the traditional Ghanaian custom of abebuu adekai, gained international recognition in seminal presentations like Magicians of the Earth (Pompidou, 1989). This exhibition presents a unique series of large-scale painted wood sculptures commissioned in 2004 and 2005—architectural models of Gold Coast castles and forts that served as way stations for more than six million Africans sold into slavery and sent to the Americas and the Caribbean between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Once forced through these “Gates of No Return,” they started an irreversible, perilous journey during which many died. This production alludes to Paa Joe’s coffins, seen as vessels ferrying the dead in the afterlife, speaking to spirits separated from bodies in trauma. Archival documents and recordings accompany the show.