Willie Young

Inside the Outside at the Weatherspoon Art Museum
Willie Young’s work is currently on view at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in North Carolina, featured in “Inside the Outside: Five Self-Taught Artists from the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation.” The exhibition includes Young’s drawings alongside the work of self-taught greats - James Castle, Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe and Bill Traylor. Organized by both the Katonah Museum of Art and Weatherspoon Art Museum, this traveling exhibition will head to the Baker Museum of Art in Naples, FL. next year.
“Inside the Outside” was reviewed in both the New York Times and The Greensboro News and Record.

Outsider Art Fair 2016
Booth 35
January 21 - 24, 2016

Thursday, January 21st:       Early access 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
                                              Vernissage 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday, January 22nd:         11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday, January 23rd:     11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sunday, January 24th:        11:00 am - 5:00 pm 

T: +1 212 337 3338 E: info@outsiderartfair.com
Metropolitan Pavilion: 125 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011

For the past two Outsider Art Fairs we have had solo shows for two different artists: Stephanie Wilde of Boise, Idaho and T.A. Hay of Kentucky. In this year’s fair, we will host a solo exhibition by Dallas based artist, Willie Young.

Although Young ‘scribbled’ most of his early life, as he says, the majority of his graphite drawings have been executed in-between shoe shines at various barbershops around Dallas since the mid-60s.

Freely drawn, untitled pieces on solid fields of found brown paper make up his earliest body of work. Young’s pieces expand from atmospheric, organic drawings seemingly untethered by gravity to nonspecific but heavily grounded surreal ‘landscapes’. Narrative is so unimportant to Young that he has never titled any piece.

Although narrative elements are extraneous to Young’s drawings, and his works are thematically unrecognizable, Young has said his work is inspired by observing ‘small life details’  - from a crack in the concrete, to the bones of small animals he has found and kept for inspiration, or dust particles floating in a framed window.

Most recently Young’s work was included in the Katonah Museum of Art exhibition Inside the Outside: Five Self-Taught Artists from the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation. The exhibition travels to the Weatherspoon Museum of Art opening in May 2016.

The Outsider Art Fair has been a wonderful show this year, with the new venue of the Metropolitan Pavilion serving artists, exhibitors and visitors well. Winter Storm Jonas has given us all some challenges, but we're open and enjoying the intimate feeling lent to the day by the inclement weather outside. There have been many favorites, pictured here are Stephanie Wilde's work at Stewart Gallery, and Thornton Dial's "Smooth-Going Cats Going to the Top", 1988, at Fred Giampietro.

Stephanie Wilde

American, b. 1952

As an artist, this is simply her time. Stephanie Wilde’s work is among that of a small group of uncommon artists I have had the pleasure of discovering.

One of the imperatives to the understanding Wilde’s work is the essentialness of the narrative. If heard and understood, Wilde is one of the humble voices speaking truth via strikingly beautiful imagery. In my twenty-five years searching for talent in unusual places, I found this quiet yet profound voice in the Snake River Plain of Boise, Idaho.

In December 2015, the Joan Mitchell Foundation of New York announced that Stephanie Wilde is one of the 2015 Painters/Sculptors Grant Recipients. In addition, Wilde has been accepted as a residence artist in 2017at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program outside of San Francisco, California.

Hopefully, these recent awards are further indication that maybe, just maybe, the art world will slow down to appreciate truly mindful work beautifully executed.


Recommended Reading

The Legacy of Mark Rothko
by Lee Seldes

The Legacy of Mark Rothko changed my professional career and should be considered mandatory reading for anyone interested in the contemporary art field.

In fact, this book had such a profound effect on me that I went to extraordinary efforts to find the author. To have written such a stellar and unflinching account of the condition of the late 20th century art world, Ms. Seldes is a surprisingly difficult person to find.

After numerous phone calls, emails, and introductions by others, Ms. Seldes invited me (along with a good friend) to have coffee at her home in NYC.

Through her writing, this brave woman told a story of unmitigated greed by those who should have known better. Unfortunately, Robert Redford purchased the rights to transform this important book into a movie and then proceeded to make one of the worst movies ever created (Legal Eagle). Read the book then watch the movie. You’ll understand.

My primary complaint with Mr. Redford’s dismal effort is the missed opportunity to expose a way of business that marginalizes artist’s rights after their death. The only hero in this book (besides the author) is Mark Rothko’s daughter Kate Rothko. Her role was a difficult one to navigate but she did it with a grace and tenacity that is commendable nearly fifty years after the death of the artist and ensuing events.

This book has become one of my favorite recommendations to artists, gallerists, collectors and art critics. A perfect example of what not to do.

Contempt of Court:
The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched
a Hundred Years of Federalism

by Mark Curriden and Leroy Phillips, Jr.

Contempt of Court peels away the multiple and complicated layers of Southern racism to expose the deep-seated prejudice and rush to blind judgment. As a Southerner who considers Chattanooga TN (where the events play out) as a second home, this book holds up a mirror. It is an honest but heart wrenching account of who we were as a society and culture. The best and worst of humanity will be found within these pages.

“In this profound and fascinating book, the authors revisit an overlooked Supreme Court decision that changed forever how justice is carried out in the United States. In 1906, Ed Johnson was the innocent black man found guilty of the brutal rape of Nevada Taylor, a white woman, and sentenced to die in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Two black lawyers, not even part of the original defense, appealed to the Supreme Court for a stay of execution, and the stay, incredibly, was granted. Frenzied with rage at the decision, locals responded by lynching Johnson, and what ensued was a breathtaking whirlwind of groundbreaking legal action whose import, Thurgood Marshall would claim, "has never been fully explained." Provocative, thorough, and gripping, Contempt of Court is a long-overdue look at events that clearly depict the peculiar and tenuous relationship between justice and the law.”
– Amazon Review

There is an equally tragic untold story. The young woman, Nevada Taylor, whose rape is the center of the narrative and under whose name the innocent was lynched has almost as tragic an ending. Without the glare of spectators, her end although not as gruesome is equally tragic. Long after reading this book, I have one lingering question: As a society, why don’t we find her death as noteworthy? This is in no way a criticism of this ever-timely book but more of an observation of contemporary values.