Editor's note: Intuit: The Center for Intuitive
and Outsider Art provided source material to Resource Library for
the following article or essay. If you have questions or comments regarding
the source material, please contact Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and
Outsider Art directly through either this phone number or web address:
Take Me to the River
September 15 - January 6, 2006
Intuit: The Center
for Intuitive and Outsider Art will commemorate its 15 Year Anniversary
with an exhibition, a catalogue, and a symposium series. The event, titled
"Take Me to the River," will be held from September 15 - January
6, 2006, with an opening reception at Intuit on Friday, September 15, 5:00
- 9:00 pm (756 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago.)
Curated by Ken Burkhart, the exhibition celebrates the
life and spirit of Intuit. "Take Me to the River" will examine
the art of the 60s and 70s, a time that witnessed a convergence of energy
in Chicago that shed light on the wondrous and enigmatic creations of self-taught
artists such as William Dawson, Lee Godie, Aldo Piacenza, Drossos Skyllas,
Justin McCarthy, and Joseph Yoakum, among others. Through related symposia
and an exhibition catalogue, "Take Me to the River" will bring
together some of the artists, historians, curators and collectors who inspired
the birth of Intuit.
"This exhibition highlights those artists and artworks
that have helped to define the foundation of our appreciation for this genre
of unencumbered and unique expression we so fully regard today. This show
pays homage to both those who made the works and those who brought us to
this ever-flowing river of wonder and spirit," said Burkart.
Intuit's 15th Anniversary Symposia, held in conjunction
with the exhibition, will explore Chicago's cultural landscape in the early
years, the emergence of outsider art in Chicago, and the relationship of
both to Intuit's development and ever-growing membership.
James Yood, Professor of Art Theory and Criticism at the
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will moderate the discussions with
each panel examining the multi-dimensional perspectives that surround the
history and the cultural climate of Chicago.
"Systems of inclusion are preferable to those of exclusion
when playing at cultural gatekeeping," states Yood. "Chicago is
the place that examined the implications in the argument that there was
more raw and exciting cultural energy riffing through Maxwell Street than
will ever be found on Michigan Avenue."
15th Anniversary Symposia dates:
- Saturday, September 16, 4:00pm
- The History
- Discussion will place the unique history of Chicago in
the epicenter of the outsider and self-taught art movement. A reception
with the panelists follows at 6 pm.
- Saturday, October 14, 1:30pm
- The Collector
- Examines the role that Chicago collectors and artists
played in the development of the cultural landscape of outsider art in
the 60s through the 80s.
- Saturday, November 4, 4:00pm
- The Curator
- Traces how curators embraced and promoted the work of
outsider artists in the context of Chicago's galleries and museums
Curator's statement for the exhibit:
- -Kid Mertz
- Take Me To The River
- Artists in the early years of Chicago collecting who
have inspired the birth of Intuit
- Take Me To The River is a
glimpse into the early years of collecting outsider art in Chicago. Planned
in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Intuit: The Center for Intuitive
and Outsider Art, this exhibition highlights those artists and artworks
that have helped to define the foundation of our appreciation for this
genre of unencumbered and unique expression we so fully regard today. This
show pays homage to both those who made the works and those who brought
us to this ever-flowing river of wonder and spirit.
- To help us along this journey, we are fortunate to have
the accompanying essays by Chicagoans James Yood and Michael Bonesteel.
Yood takes on the philosophical question of "Why Chicago?" pondering
the elements of time and place within the context of the contemporary art
scene at that moment. Bonesteel, on the other hand, outlines the seminal
role that the early collectors played in both their interaction with one
another and their contact with some of the artists who created these works.
It is through both writings that we are brought to the celebration of unbridled
creativity and the meaningful place it holds for all who have joined in
the discovery. It is out of this history that Intuit was born, raised and
continues to grow.
- I would like to thank Intuit, its board of directors
and its members for giving me the opportunity to delve into this slice
of Chicago art history. Most notably Jan Petry, Lisa Stone, Cleo Wilson,
Susann Craig, Russell Bowman, Jerry Stefl and Marjorie Freed; each provided
support and direction along the way. Additionally, conversations with Barbara
Rossi, Karl Wirsum, Lori Gunn, Don Baum, Phil Hanson, Gladys Nilsson, Jim
Nutt, Ray Yoshida, Carl Hammer, Mark Jackson and Mike Noland helped shape
the project, and for that I express my sincere appreciation.
- The Intuit staff were unflagging in their enthusiasm
and assistance, including past executive director Connie Gibbons, Kimberly
Soenen, Katherine Loague, Amanda Curtis and Bryan Preston. Highlighted
in this list of staff, however, is Farris Wahbeh, whose yeoman's efforts
in keeping everything well organized and on track-as well as being the
consummate sounding board-earn him the official gold star.
- A special thanks to our essayists Yood and Bonesteel,
both of whom have been traveling the Chicago River of Art along with me
for perhaps more years than we care to acknowledge. A heart-felt thanks
to Janet Franz for her keen editing skills, and to David Syrek for his
sensitive and exciting catalog design, which brings life to words and images.
But, of course, without the creators of these great works and objects and
their "gatherers," there would be no show, so I would like to
express my undying gratitude to all who have endured my requests and inquiries
and saw fit to help us make this show possible.
- Ken Burkhart
- Take Me to the River curator
(above: Justin McCarthy, Marilyn Monroe, ca. 1975-80,
Oil on board, 15 ? x 23 ?. Collection of Intuit: the Center for Intuitive
and Outsider Art, gift of Susann Craig, 2002.3)
(above: Joseph Yoakum, "St. Louis and San Francisco
Railroad between Phayer Missouri and Jonesboro Arkansas", ca. 1969-1972,
Colored pencil, pencil and pen on paper, 12 x 19. Courtesy of Carl Hammer
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