press release

The Whitechapel shows the impact of little known Outsiders on some of the greatest artists of the 20th Century.

Since the early 20th Century, the terms Art Brut or Outsider Art have encouraged a distinction between mainstream artists and individuals producing art from the 'fringes of society'. Inner Worlds Outside is a landmark exhibition bringing Insider and Outsider artists together as two sides of the story of modern art.

Outsider Artists have included psychiatric patients, criminal offenders, self-taught visionaries, mediums and other 'eccentric' individuals. Interest in Outsider Art has grown with the rise of psychiatry. Artists like Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso, the Expressionists and Surrealists explored the psyche in search of autonomous creativity or childlike innocence, and turned to 'outsiders' for inspiration. However the way Outsider Art has been defined by biographical and psychological factors is now outmoded.

Inner Worlds Outside now explodes the myths surrounding Outsiders, showing the parallels between Insider and Outsider Art, and the impact of unknown Outsiders on some of the greatest names of 20th Century art. The exhibition presents works by modern masters including Jean Dubuffet, James Ensor, Philip Guston, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Joan Miro and Emil Nolde alongside those of Outsiders such as Henry Darger, Madge Gill, Michael the Cartographer and Adolf Wolfli.

The exhibition is loosely arranged in five areas. Faces and Masks, for example, explores the transformative and magical powers invested in representations of human faces, as in the obsessive, intricate drawings by the clairvoyant, Madge Gill. Imaginary Landscapes includes epic narratives by Henry Darger that depict the conflict between his five Vivien Girls and the powers of darkness. The Allure of Language explores written language as a coded structure or alphabet design and features the highly elaborate, imaginary maps of Adolf Wölfli, such as the entirely imaginary kingdom situated between the cradle and the grave.


Inner Worlds Outside
Organisation: Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; la Caixa, Madrid; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
Kuratoren: Jon Thompson, Monika Kinley

mit Eugene von Bruenchenhein, Francois Burland, Henry Darger, Robert Delaunay, Jean Dubuffet, James Ensor, Madge Gill, Philip Guston, Chris Hipkiss, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, William Kurelek, Roberto Matta, Michael the Cartographer, Joan Miró, Emil Nolde, Francis Picabia, Henri Rousseau, Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Antoni Tàpies, Mark Tobey, Adolf Wölfli, Anna Zemankova ...

27.01.06 - 02.04.06 Fundacion la Caixa, Madrid
28.04.06 - 25.07.06 Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
26.07.06 - 1510.06 Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin