Each week, Artful spotlights an art experience or destination that speaks to us right now.
The renowned contemporary artist Takashi Murakami has organized some fascinating exhibitions over the years, including “Little Boy: The Arts of Japan’s Exploding Subculture,” at Japan Society in 2005. In his latest curatorial project, he has teamed up with the Outsider Art Fair to present “Super-Rough” at 150 Wooster Street in SoHo. (Murakami fans will recognize the title as a play on “Superflat,” his term for the anime-influenced style of his art.) This pop-up show gathers about 200 objects, most of them sculptural, by some 60 largely self-taught artists.
On a statement released by the fair, Murakami describes his interest in Outsider Art in terms from professional sports: “In baseball or soccer you have excellent scouts who can watch young athletes play, they are able to see even then that they have great muscle, agility, build or physique, and when we look at self-taught art we can also appreciate this kind of physicality in their work, the agility and flexibility of their hand and brain…the physical perfection is there, they are not trained but they can do it.”
These attributes are more than evident in the objects on view, which are clustered together on a long platform in the gallery space and presented individually in an online viewing room. They include Ryuji Nomoto’s drippings of hot glue on wood, Alan Constable’s glazed-earthenware versions of cameras and binoculars, and Ionel Talpazan’s painted-plaster sculptures of UFOs, in addition to works whose makers remain unknown.
The Outsider Art Fair will return in its traditional form with a Paris edition in October, followed by a New York event in February (check the website for updates). See below for a slideshow of photographs from “Super-Rough,” which runs through June 27.