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Monday, August 17th, 2015

Inside the Outside: Five Self-Taught Artists from the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation


Nellie Mae Rowe, Early Bird, 1981. Paint and crayon on canvas, 20 x 24 inches © Nellie Mae Rowe, Shaun Gillen Photography

Nellie Mae Rowe, Early Bird, 1981. Paint and crayon on canvas, 20 x 24 inches © Nellie Mae Rowe, Shaun Gillen Photography

As New York’s commercial galleries approach their well-earned two-week vacation in the second half of August, hardened art addicts who have sucked the city’s museum exhibitions dry this summer will have to look further afield for aesthetic novelties. Luckily, there are untold riches to be had mere stops away on the MTA. Take the Katonah Museum of Art, for instance, an hour from Grand Central in Westchester County. Through October 11 they offer “Inside the Outside: Five Self-Taught Artists from the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation”. A mere sampling from the stupendous holdings of this inveterate collector of artists trained and otherwise, the exhibition presents an in-depth look at five key modern masters of the American tradition of the unschooled. Salon-hang walls of worlds on paper by James Castle and Bill Traylor keep company with the precious, exquisite visionary drawings of Willie Young (the only one of the five to attend museum school classes, and the least classically art brut looking of the group), muscular murals by Thornton Dial and dense designs packed with color and structure by Nellie Mae Rowe. “You can draw a mule, dog, cat, or a human person,” Mrs. Rowe is on record as saying. “I’m going to draw it different. ‘Cause you always see things different.”

at the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah NY July 19 to October 11, 2015

 


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