Graphic fabric calendar attributed to African-American quilter Della Pedyfoot, which resonates with echoes of a complex personal history, although its purpose remains as unknown as its maker.
MONA (MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART) PRESENTS:
THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING // AUSTRALIA 2017
OPENS 10TH JUNE 2017 + ENDS 2ND APRIL 2018
b 1937 (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)
Every day, 9am on the dot, the strict 15-year practice of this former historical educator forms an eternal encyclopedia, capturing not only nature’s daily shifts, but the developing metaphorical landscape of Nizhny Novgorod and beyond.
b 1973 (Kronberg im Taunus, West Germany)
The rigorous re-fossilisation process of this studio-assisted Mesozoic devotee unites organic plunder with everyday plastic, animating her very personal and persuasive dinosaur age.
1935-2015 (Cambridge/Massachusetts, USA)
Trans-disciplinarian Harvard dropout and founder of the Boston Visionary Cell, whose philosophical, architectural and scientific investigations absorbed complex theoretical constructs and time-travelled his cosmic theories into finely detailed earthworks.
b 1964 (Yekaterinburg, Russia)
Street artist and ancestral Kabbalist whose secret to eternal youth is shared with any sitter spending twenty two roubles on his or her own chromosome portrait.
b 1962 (Cincinatti/Ohio, USA)
Contemporary artist, whose photographic memory and numerical literacy are revealed on expansive disaster strewn paper-napkin tableaux.
c 1879-1960 (Caguas, Puerto Rico)
The ectoplasmic imprints of this Puerto Rican dentist’s spiritual mission were intended as proofs of a luminous afterlife, but testified instead to his pre-digital Photoshop prowess.
c 1871-1912 (Turin, Italy)
The psychic phenomena and ghostly happenings recorded with rigour by this well-connected member of the scientific elite, posthumously found refuge in the highest libraries and museums of mankind.
1814-1884 (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands)
Devoted spiritualist and exhibitor, whose revelationary body of Victorian abstraction was inspired by angels but unknown to mortals, until rediscovery and acclaim returned her legacy to the light.
1886-1956 (London, England)
Gothic wunderkind whose juvenile eye evolved a pre-surreal darkness of erotic monochromes, and who chronicled his passage into the occult with spiral visions, beings and spirit-guides.
1875-1948 (Hénin-Liétard/Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France)
Well-digger, plumber, miner and spiritualist, who received a calling to paint three hundred temples and so bring about the end of the Second World War.
1882–1961 (London, Britain)
Exhibited East End mediumistic artist whose many thousands of drawings, postcards and tapestries illustrated her powerful and ubiquitous spirit-guide, Myrninerest.
1876–1954 (Saint-Pierre-les-Auchel, France)
Miner who was guided by voices to paint and whose pointillistic style was littered with mystical references and hidden sexual meaning.
1922-2014 (Perth, Australia)
As his childhood sweetheart gradually lost her memory, so this devout local electrician was guided by angels to paint, and to decorate each canvas with mementoes from their life together.
1911–1976 (Alsace, France)
Retiring road sweeper whose soaring cathedrals and labyrinthine cities formed a private visionary blueprint for the reconstruction of the capital after the inevitable nuclear holocaust.
1862-1944 (Stockholm, Sweden)
Landscape painter and theosophic visionary, whose botanical proto-abstract thought-forms evidenced a northern-lit canon of Spiritism, clandestined at her own posthumous request.
Eerie rubbery bearded faces, idolised by Jean Dubuffet and André Breton, whose anonymous origins recall forgotten pagan peasant gods, yet are titled in honour of their wealthy and bearded Swiss owner.
c 1800 (France)
Impish episodes of mischievous diablerie are contained in this anonymous assembly of delicate watercolours, allegedly penned by the talented inmate of an early 19th-century French hospital.
c 1920/30 (Woodbridge/New Jersey, USA)
Armless community whose clay-pit discovery spoke neither of a maker nor a purpose, be they fertility objects, voodoo dolls or members of a religious sect.
b 1946 (Zăpodeni, Romania)
The satirical pictagram cut-outs of this street-bound collagist depict the horrors of Ceausescu via 70’s Hollywood A-listers, Milanese ingénues, bottles of booze and giant Romanian sausages.
c 1891-1960 (Havana, Cuba)
Former tobacco-roller whose satirical opus of collaged cigar-band surfaces, furniture and instruments was found by chance in a Philadelphia car-boot sale.
1887-1958 (Langogne/Lozère, France)
Sectioned for de-railing a train, this inventive reclaimer developed a playful practice of sloppy beasts with leather tongues and sailing ships of off-cut wood, hoarded by Pablo Picasso and the Surrealists.
1820-1897 (Union County/Indiana, USA)
Masterful woody craftsman, whose modest pre-modern folding chairs seated the hunting and fishing crowd and enlightened them with their maker’s progressive texts and scrimshaw designs.
1887-1961 (Vienna, Austria)
Austrian-born nobleman, art historian and civil servant who fictionalised his collection of decorated and anthropomorphic flintstones as prima facie evidence of a pre-historic art.
1863-1934 (Bordeaux, France)
Bric-a-brac collector and reluctant antiquaire, whose satirical shells formed a caricature cast of the royal, political and literary elite and a cornerstone of Jean Dubuffet’s l’art brut.
c 1894–1960 (Thysville, Congo)
Historic Congolese re-discovery whose watercolour depictions of village rituals caught the eyes of the Belgian colonial set and were exhibited across Europe.
1853-1949 (Benton/Alabama, USA)
The original godfather of African-American art-making, whose sidewalk silhouettes of city folk and village animals were cast in his comic world of exciting events.
1906-1985 (St Helena Island/South Carolina, USA)
Store clerk, laundry worker and Gullah visual folklorist, whose outdoor gallery of local notables and African-American heroes inspired the young Jean-Michel Basquiat.
1874-1951 (Davidson County/Tennessee, USA)
Posthumously acclaimed limestone carver, whose tombstone engravings and
earthbound visions led him to become the very first African-American to exhibit
at the Museum of Modern Art in 1937.
1899-1977 (Eatonton/Georgia, USA)
The finely-observed urban habits of country-born Southerners were depicted in detail by this elusive academically-trained figuratist, who travelled by train to Chicago during the Great Migration.
1895-1990 (Union City/Kentucky, USA)
Southern hunter, truck driver, scrap merchant and self-confessed pimp, whose
boards of house paint and collage are identified by his date and place of birth.
c 1805-1900 (Nigeria, Africa)
African-born labourer, craftsman and freed slave, whose symbolic autobiography was immortalised on three Mississippi plantation desks, carved from yellow pine, cotton crates and tobacco boxes.
c 1900 (USA)
The God-fearing text of this once melodic box speaks of a maker, a beloved congregation, yet evidences only its own silent faith.
1912-1990 (Enfield/North Carolina, USA)
Janitor, handyman, gravedigger and lay-preacher, whose wide-eyed watchers and large-eared listeners formed a protective population for his handcrafted House of Holiness.
1892-1987 (Long Creek/North Carolina, USA)
Dreamscape architect of Trinidadian descent, whose draw-or-die practice tied mythic animals, religious symbology and botanical imaginings into a cosmic colourwash of all-seeing eyes and pathways to our maker.
1915–1998 (Lunenburg County/Virginia, USA)
Street-preacher and blues singer who converted his home into a Faith Mission and fashioned his own congregation of presidents, painted faces and visionary images.
1900–1980 (LaFayette/Alabama, USA)
Self-proclaimed Bride of Christ, whose art and music were simply a means for her to spread the word of Jesus at her world-famous New Orleans Faith Mission.
1892-1984 (Baldwyn/Mississippi, USA)
Immeasurably modest barber, preacher and wood-carver, whose African-American heritage and Christian belief informed pictorial histories, bible-tales and acclamations, which hang in the Smithsonian Museum.
1923-2010 (Cherokee County/Alabama, USA)
Southern visionary who received a divine calling to paint the Books of Revelations and Ezekiel after the sudden and tragic murder of her daughter.
1894–1948 (Saint-Marc, Haiti)
Third-generation voodoo priest whose fast chicken-feather paintings of rituals and deities were fêted and promoted by noted French surrealist André Breton.
b 1950 (Kumasi, Ghana)
The pictorial communiqués of this career sign and truck painter empower his fervent mission to spread Christ’s word and heal those around him, whether ready or not.
1885–1983 (Shamrock/Missouri, USA)
Retired farmer, lay preacher and loud-mouth activist, whose painted biblical and political rants plastered the signs and banners strewn across his home, yard and Sorehead Hill compound.
1899-1988 (Fullers Crossroads/Alabama, USA)
Burly Southern entrepreneur and eccentric who took on the Klu Klux Klan, local government and anyone who stood in the way of profit.
b 1958 (Chicago/Illinois, USA)
Childhood campaigner and lifetime activist whose commitment to the rights of others manifests itself in a parallel protest of cultural confrontation.
1917-1986 (Claysville/Pennsylvania, USA)
One-time auto-mechanic and born-again Pentecostal lay-preacher, whose garish fire and brimstone tablets brilliantly illustrated his paranoid prophesies and internal demons.
1878-1946 (Bay City/Michigan, USA)
The apocalyptic monochromes of this dedicated and self-taught socialite suggested a direct channel into other worlds, yet belied their earthly origins in a successful dental practice.
b 1925 (Catania/Sicily, Italy)
A relentless art, love and myth maker, whose broad brushstrokes narrow our gaze on the evils of corruption, the power of the divine, the abuses of poverty and the joy of female flesh.
1930-2004 (Prattville/Alabama, USA)
Called upon to save the world from sinful living, this house-painter and self-ordained minister populated his Miracle Garden with a thousand signs and crosses.
b 1945 (Green Bay/Wisconsin, USA)
Apocalyptic diagrams and illuminated parables are the stock-in-trade of this former motorbike fiend and part-time hermit, whose rigorous practice serves to communicate a highly-stylised Christian brand.
b 1935 (Greenville/South Carolina, USA)
Self-made man and genteel Southerner, for whom degenerative illness and a visionary mid-life calling, combined to demand of him a pre-ordained mission to paint.
1926-1993 (Eden/Mississippi, USA)
The muddy Yazoo riverbanks gave their clay to this rowdy Delta Bluesman and onetime gravedigger, to mould it unfired into hoodoo skulls and furnish with wigs, shades and real teeth.
1848–1922 (Philadelphia/Pennsylvania, USA)
Precision weapon maker who shot the family gunsmithery back to fame with his indoor target practice gaze, and whose popular shapes and comedic forms proved a hit with the trigger-happy.
b 1928 (Cambridge, England)
Meticulous and multi-talented maker, whose film industry background inspires mythic movie miniatures, as complex private psychologies are played out for all who care to see.
1906-1986 (Viadana/Lombardy, Italy)
The glamorous ladies and starey tigers of this lauded autodidact pose for their maker, unaware that their darkened outlines are made from coal, grass, wine, brick dust, blackberries and blood.
1916-2004 (Norwalk/Connecticut, USA)
The fold-out lifeblood of book-bound ladies flows with nostalgic aphorisms and pop Victoriana, their flattened grins now assured of their non-stop collage author’s triumphant and posthumous return.
1909–1999 (Monmouth Beach/New Jersey, USA)
Harvard graduate whose magnum opus was an auto-biographical erotic novella illustrated by dense transgender ballpoint sketches.
1897-1965 (Park City/Utah, USA)
Expressionist, fetishist, Hollywood hack, starlet snapper and Ansel Adams‘ favourite Antichrist, whose evolving erotic devilish oeuvre provoked widespread West Coast condemnation, yet preceded Photoshop.
b 1936 (Moscow, Russia)
Muscovite matriarch whose supposedly naïve skill set describes the visual fables of her family, the ins and outs of Russia’s political elite, her own extravagant sex life, and most recently, an imagined myriad of exotic couplings in the farmyard, jungle and pre-history.
1936-1997 (St Helena Parish/Louisiana, USA)
Luckless West Coast sign painter, who clad his home in warning signs targeting the ex-wife he loved, and sat inside drawing evangelical visions as storms tore his homestead apart.
1927-1997 (Bern, Switzerland)
With a taste for the perverse, sacred, macabre and brut, this Swiss non-conformist composed his toothy Madonnas and penile erotics from a chauffeur’s lodge on the banks of Lake Lucerne.
1892-1982 (Tilsit, East Prussia)
A wayward childhood begat a wayward adulthood for this nefarious, notorious mythmaker, yet it also gave birth to an illustrated eroto-fantasy and earned him Surrealist stripes.
1926-2011 (Kyjov, Czech Republic)
Self-exiled multi-format maker whose impressionistic portfolio included thousands of portraits of local women covertly captured on hand-made cameras and linocuts.
b 1932 (Tlukienka, Poland)
Home-schooled and married, this painter, photographer, carver and musician channels creative urges into life-size limewood lovelies, who make his village bungalow a harem all his own.
1886-1964 (Lausanne, Switzerland)
Swiss Governess whose imagined affair with Kaiser Wilhelm II sparked a sensual and allegedly schizophrenic oeuvre of poetic drawings, collages and murals.
1900-1951 (Pliny/West Virginia, USA)
The embroidered pleas of this lonely mother speak of her loss and hospitalisation, although no words ever seemed to reach their intended recipient … her beloved, absent, wayward son.
1943-2005 (Cincinnati/Ohio, USA)
Late-blooming non-verbal maker whose emotive assemblies of wool, yarn and thread came to be only when her twin sister rescued her from institutionalisation.
1894-1968 (Kiev, Ukraine)
Eastern European émigré whose drip-painterly Brighton Beach practice inspired the abstract magpie eyes of Jackson Pollock, yet who returned to informal obscurity without true recognition for her aesthetic due.
1909-1992 (Boston/Massachusetts, USA)
Amateur sculptor and published photographer who illustrated, fashioned and immortalised his strange family of secret pre-teen mannequins.
1892-1973 (Chicago/Illinois, USA)
Devout hermit and legendary illustrator whose secret sequential panoramas reveal how his self-penned lifetime fairy-tale fictionalised a tough and troubled childhood.
1924–2003 (Mologa/Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia)
Silent self-taught draughtsman, whose figurative self-absorption recast him as a heroic hunter, revolutionary fighter, conceptual photographer and artist.
b 1931 (La Maltournée, France)
Aesthetic gun-runner and Dubuffet discovery whose daily astronautical and ammunitional devices now encompass gigantic forms of his original modest dimensionality.
b 1982 (Osaka, Japan)
Combat sports fanatic whose hysteric grapplers squash bodies in fondly remembered CG matches and across vast scrolls of densely inked paper.
1903-1982 (Gladbach, Germany)
Modest rural hermit whose teenage rejection from military service led to a lifelong commitment to a global two-dimensional battle in the colours of pop.
1916–1974 (Verona, Italy)
Italian serviceman whose profound battle scars found relief in the thousands of text-framed drawings which told a life-story from the farm to the frontline.
b 1985 (Chicago/Illinois, USA)
Bold affirmations and cloud spreadsheets flow freely from Loudemar, the imaginary island home to this esoteric artist, musician, designer and writer.
b 1953 (Sydney, Australia)
Semaphored journals and interlocking shadow-folk flip-flop daily from this worldly art brutist, whose Blue Mountain sanctuary for the mystic within, keeps him in line with the absurdist without.
1950-2014 (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
Driven by internal compulsion and a secret atomic uterus, this aristocratic electrician proved his existential theories with quasi-scientific algorithms and an infinity of photocopies.
1911-1977 (Bay City/Texas, USA)
Hermaphrodite, hermit, fisherman, this mythic mark-maker’s paintings spoke a symbolist language which formed a blueprint for his ideal human state.
b 1935 (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
The ballpoint hieroglyphs of this mystical maker were stashed in the corners of his former hospital home, until they and him found an audience of artists, ready to discover and decipher.
One-time theatre backdrop painter, whose graphic banners of human brains, kidney beans and internal organs communicated his own mental health revolutions and revelations.
1903–1981 (Guatemala City, Guatemala)
Formally trained artist and contemporary of Rothko, whose personal belief system was evidenced in densely painted numerological canvases and drawings.
b 1969 (Vienna, Austria)
The positive negativity of this devoted night-time doodler forms a cut-up crossword of cross-hatched critiques and an Indian-ink protest of allegations, aberrations and observations.
b 1962 (Osaka, Japan)
Text-based artist and entertainment obsessive, whose lists, letters, notebooks and diaries overlap with real and imagined calligraphy, reflecting his daily passions, from kabuki to Chip n’ Dale.
b 1962 (Quezon City, Phillipines)
Pop’s stars collide in the swirling picture-poems of this contemporary philosopher and contradictory image-maker, where collage springboards variations on the state of modern life.
b 1961 (Castro Valley/California, USA)
This art speaks as this artist does, through the gradual repetition of letters and words, drawn, painted or typed, building to the point of abstraction.
b 1956 (Frankfurt, Germany)
Conceptual wunderkind whose visual philosophies and psychoanalyses question his own diagnosed duality and the universality in which it exists.
b 1983 (Saitama Prefecture, Japan)
The visual abstractions of this productive mind reflect daily televisual obsessions and the repetitive alphabetic gestures of the Japanese letter mo.
Cake-baker, weatherman, astrologer, soothsayer, this patent-heavy pacifist was by some accounts an artist, by others a snake-oil salesman, who could churn out tasty buns at the rate of 40 a minute.
b 1961 (Hamburg, Germany)
A thought, a word, a sentence, the daily art practice of this non-verbal maker speaks on his behalf in letters written to a fictionalisation of his own dear mother.
1937-2010 (Cologne, Germany)
Art-trained and machine-orientated labourer, whose multi-thousand Polaroid practice described the invisible cold rays emanating from every electrical outlet and object in view.
b 1983 (Frankfurt, Germany)
Free-hand draughtsman and conceptual artist, whose structuralist geometric lines reflect his inner musicality and rhythm through their abstract and minimal patternisation.
b 1973 (Transylvania, Romania)
This romantic carney lives and breathes the fairground, labouring on intricate models of card, paper and glue to recall the memories of a bank-holidayed youth.
1935-2015 (Ceará, Brazil)
Polished ballpoint banknotes form a collectable creative currency, revealing that the smiling banker’s face was perhaps the artist’s own.
b 1939 (Ljig, Serbia)
Vivid paintings and annotated IBM keyboards in plastic bags reveal the hallucinations of this former soldier, beautician and elusive New York street artist.
b 1966 (Brighton, England)
The muggy night-time hours spent chatting to customers in a call centre inspired this self-titled non-artist to develop an automatic output of cosmic doodles and numeric musing.
b 1956 (Melbourne, Australia)
Visual impairment has barely dented the 20 year practice of this world-class artist, whose paintings and ceramic cameras reflect that distant world of sight.
b 1980 (Yekaterinburg, Russia)
In childhood, a meagre number of toy soldiers inspired this TV investigator to create a 5,000-strong private army, whose warriors now wage the largest paper war in the history of Russian combat.
b 1952 (Warendorf, Germany)
Designer, musician and one-man rhythm-section, who reproduces the tunes which capture his ear on the maps and atlases which capture his eye.
b 1948 (Yaroslavl, Russia)
Former railroad engineer and prolific autodidact whose swirling colour imprints belie her earthly mission to create a new world order and return to the cosmos and her real father, the Supreme Universal Intelligence.
1942-2010 (San Francisco/California, USA)
Eco-activist, biochemist and chemical engineer, whose quest for revelation was endlessly permutated through meditations, metaphysics, symbols, diagrams, and lots of lots of numbers.
1949-2015 (Duchcov, Czech Republic)
Typographer and political cartoonist, for whom psychic trauma led to a full-time meteorological practice, apparent control of the state, and a dialogue with the entire avian population.
b 1934 (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)
Photocopied pamphlets and collaged cosmic maps comprise the non-objects of this vocal non-artist, a former astrologer and alt physicist who comprehends the universe in a way we never can.
1908-1988 (Sandersville/Georgia, USA)
Southern sharecropper with little formal schooling, who nonetheless produced an astonishing body of glossalaliac abstraction when he received religious visions while working the fields of his youth.
b 1956 (Wellington, New Zealand)
Itinerant observer whose graphic talismans of colour-precise grids hide a painstaking cut-up technique, as invisible to the eye as the complex mirroring of the art and its maker.
b 1967 (Ural Mountains, Russia)
Chemistry professor and stone forager, whose three-dimensional photographic landscapes serve to re-animate minerals in loving memory of her geologist father and Ural Mountain upbringing.
b 1954 (Ruffin/South Carolina, USA)
Instinctive creator whose prior life on the street informs complex algorithmical formulae, both written and spoken, intended not as art, but perhaps as answers.
b 1970 (Tongo, Sierra Leone)
Rat-a-tat-tat go the spacecraft/witchcraft of this Euro-African inventor’s private airborne army, as a sci-fi fantasy from Sierra Leone’s teenage streets bodyguards its owner from the demons of today.
b 1928 (Coulonges-sur-l’Autize, France)
They serve no need, they perform no function, yet the dream-machines of this mechanical carver fascinate audiences as they do their maker, an inveterate inventor since the age of six.
1907-1975 (Villers-la-Faye, France)
Civil engineer and civilian scientist whose private spiritual research led him to design a multiplicity of machines, languages, mediumistic devices and robots.
c 1850–1920 (Denmark)
Danish immigrant whose hospitalised monographs detail a private stream of consciousness of imagined machinery, historical factoids and elegant penmanship.
1863-1955 (Macon/Illinois, USA)
The utopian 20-year self-propelled practice of this fertile and machinistic inventor belied his modest background in ladies wear and general goods.
1928-2015 (Vence, France)
Pastry-cook and private linguist, whose secret ingredients for angular paintings were never revealed and whose pictorial recipes were destroyed in a fit of pique worthy of a true master chef.
1899-1960 (Kafargzina, Syria)
Solitary Armenian handyman whose sincere fears for humanity birthed an aesthetic oeuvre of universal consciousness, interplanetary travel, post-Masonic symbolism and scientific faction.
1830–1923 (Brandenburg, Prussia)
Émigré Texan butcher whose multi-volume opus of impossible flying machines protagonised the fictional Sonora Aero Club, of which he was the founding father and only apparent member.
b 1946 (Nagoya/Chubu, Japan)
Chef-de-cuisine who took to art-making after the sudden death of his brother and expresses the unknowability of the cosmos through tiny circular constellations.
b 1954 (Florence, Italy)
A comic book convert whose conspiracy universe of war weapons and space rockets liberate him to rescue ample starlets in tight-fitting lingerie.
b 1949 (Frankfurt-am-Main, West Germany)
Gravity-defying aircraft of carefully adhered cardboard flee an uninhabitable planet in the visceral yet unknowable adventures of this pop-loving aerialist.
1909–1988 (Kołobrzeg, Poland)
Futurist inventor and citizen cosmonaut, whose imaginary locomotive forms bear witness to a total hospital studio practice and reveal his delightfully convincing ecological science.
1873-1960 (Perrecy-les-Forges, France)
Who knew that this one-time miner and political firebrand harboured such visual vocabulary that he could depict the mythic, existential and cosmic with neither mentor nor museum.
1908-1992 (Traverse City/Michigan, USA)
From a hilltop farm in Oregon, this astral traveller and benevolent pacifist channelled the thought-forms and theosophy of his Swedish ancestry into an ethereal watercolour and pigment practice.
1932-2007 (Ruy Barbosa/Bahia, Brazil)
This underknown visionary may have credited the divine for his flow, yet his iconic modernist motifs owe more to Brazilian industrialisation than the flora and fauna of his rural past.
1890-1973 (Macon/Georgia, USA)
Breathing life into his weekly Chicago sermon, the oil-cloth banners of this impassioned minister communicated not only the word of God, but their author’s vision of imminent apocalypse.
1955-2015 (Petrăchioaia, Romania)
A childhood brush with alternate life forms persuaded this meek mapper of outer limits to sell transparent UFOs on the streets of New York and outside art fairs from a rental truck.
1924-2015 (Barian Kalan/Gurdaspur, India)
Post-Partition roads inspector for Le Corbusier, who recycled the remains of local villages into a vernacular kingdom to confront the modernism of Chandigarh.
1899-1992 (Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti)
Gifted blacksmith and self-taught sculptor, who repurposed discarded oil barrels and turned them into grave markers, revered deities and possessed spirits.
b 1961 (Bamiyan, Afghanistan)
Afghani emigré and former caretaker, whose chance encounter with an Iranian self-taught master inspired a mythical menagerie of his own – reminders of home, made from crushed egg-boxes and library glue.
b 1979 (Irian Jaya, Indonesia)
Called upon by spirits and activated by mortals, this Javanese art brut aficionado led a local chapter of doodlers, until he alone rose to the foreground of the contemporary outsiderist gaze.
1942-2010 (Xi’an/Shaanxi Province, China)
Retired factory worker whose daily practice of Qigong inspired visions of health and spirituality, ethereal energy drawings which anticipated her own demise.
1939-2015 (Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)
The faces of the divine peer out through verdant foliage in the private painting practice of this architectural professor and construction engineer.
1902–1989 (Bilišane, Croatia)
Factory worker, labourer and bricklayer who signed his works with a special self-taught signature so no-one could steal what he had made with his own two hands.
1888-1972 (London, England)
Born Louis Freeman, this Scottish-dwelling doodler of birds, plants, Greedies and Evils, was so fêted by Dubuffet and the surrealists that line drawing became his life.
b 1962 (London, Britain)
The open-ended architectures of this pencil-sharpened imaginary planner suggest a secure and homespun lifestyle which his incarcerated enclosure does not allow.
b 1951 (Hargicourt, France)
Intensely private and hermetic maker, who patiently revitalises forgotten machinery as miniature architecture, and always credits his wife and life-partner as co-creator and guide.
b 1960 (Baghagha, Senegal)
Utopian urban sprawls rise proudly from the tidy grids and benevolent architectures of this one-time baker, security guard and village-born humanitarian dreamer.
b 1988 (Brooklyn/New York, USA)
As the parking meters of New York are slowly phased out, so they become nostalgic three-dimensional cardboard fodder for this youthful Weegee of lovingly remembered city transportation.
1927-2005 (Voorburg, Netherlands)
Dutch artist obsessed by cities, urban panoramas, transport and travel, who collected raincoats and locked himself inside leather trenchcoats to protect himself from his own intimate urges.
b 1952 (Montreal/Quebec, Canada)
Slumberless Québécois whose forest homes of silent rope-hinged doorways, windows and timbers, re-purpose forgotten cabins as a heaven-sent assembly of anti-gravitational architecture.
b 1949 (Gammertingen, Germany)
Construction-site obsessive whose crane, digger and traffic-sign opus recalls a childhood of urban renewal and his own miniature architectural practice.
1948-2015 (Kimbembele Ihunga, Congo)
Futurist utopian father of Architectural Modelism, whose found-materiality of shapely stadiums and primary monuments mirrored the political, sprawling aesthetic of his hometown Kinshasa.
1894–1984 (Soturac, France)
Family farmer undeterred by blindness, who carved kinetic windmills, fairground rides, farmyard equipment and masterful replicas of the Eiffel Tower.
1929-1996 (Caltagirone/Sicily, Italy)
Multi-coloured memorialist whose fertile and increasingly immobile observations commemorated his Sicilian heritage and the hexagonal streets of his adopted hometown.
b 1964 (San Francisco/California, USA)
A self-effacing self-taught artist whose brilliantly appealing sci-fi caricatures re-imagine his low-rent childhood past as a high-rise familial future.
b 1960 (Osaka, Japan)
Family-trained metal welder whose deconstructed collage and scratch-board opus challenges impossible architectural feats of abstracted beams and girders.
b 1948 (Val di Catania/Sicily, Italy)
Moustachioed craftsman and architectural visionary whose spare time recontextualises the hilltop holiday home into a maze of neoclassical figuration and Egyptomania.
1923-2001 (Portsmouth, England)
Liberated from excremental repression by radical psychiatry, this un-prodigal daughter’s illuminated picture-making and co-authored biography led to her eventual recovery and fame.
1914-2005 (Memphis/Tennessee, USA)
Sightless Creole sculptor whose protective scarecrows of pots and pans frightened away the birds with their flapping leather tongues and metal-punctured eyes.
1817–1886 (Chatham, England)
Child prodigy, Victorian orientalist and paternal murderer, who mastered a detailed feathery brush technique to form wonderous dreamscapes from within his asylum home.
1887-1970 (Tory Island/County Donegal, Ireland)
Donegal seadog and faithful maker, who biographied local aquatic history in tall tales told with a donkey-hair brush, and was promoted by his mentor, the painter Derek Hill.
1895–1963 (Tepatitlán/Jalisco, Mexico)
Institutionalised émigré whose monumental line drawings of swirling landscapes and speeding trains recalled a long-forgotten homeland and a family left behind.
b 1951 (Wellington, New Zealand)
Every vessel, every funnel, each window, bow and each stern, a ceramic fleet so precise and historic, its facts are inscribed on the watery side for uninitiated passenger to cruise wise.
1889-1972 (Ash Grove/Missouri, USA)
Action-adventurer and unreliable narrator, whose time in the circus, the military and on the high seas, begat an influential opus of outlines, memory maps and a thousand far-flung mountainscapes.
1855–1942 (Devonport, England)
Cornish fisherman whose maritime imagery reflected a life spent on the open waves and inspired his youthful discoverers, Ben Nicholson and Adrian Stokes.
1908-1986 (Olomuc/Moravia, Czech Republic)
Former dental assistant whose late-flowering quasi-botanical illustrations and embroideries formed an immersive practice which often seemed beyond her control.
1907-1986 (Stapleton/Nebraska, USA)
Bearded son of Eastern European stock whose Healing Machine of hand-turned wirework channelled energy into a dilapidated farmhouse, but never transmitted the immortality he craved.
1893–1987 (Pennsylvania, USA)
Posthumously discovered amateur storyteller and Village Witch, whose delicate pencilled outlines catalogue the suburban happenings and haberdashery of her family’s East Coast past.
1899–1977 (Garden Valley/Idaho, USA)
Unable to read, write, hear or sign, this master draughtsman’s silent mirror reflects an inner life of drawings and constructions of soot, spit and string.
1883-1976 (Caldwell/Texas, USA)
Carpenter, painter, grocer, baker, no single role defined this traditional child of Czech émigrés, more than the gentle hand-drawn silhouettes which begat his prolific geriatric practice.
1850-1912 (Lemgo/Lippe, Germany)
Painter, designer, craftsman and carpenter, whose lifetime legacy was the Junkerhaus: a multi-dimensional marvel of detail and craft, which never housed the family for which its singleton maker longed.
1844-1917 (Falkenau, Bohemia)
Entrepreneurial porcelain painter whose latterly life in a pioneering Viennese asylum was visualised in an observational diary, framed with text and signed The Laughing Philosopher.
1953–2013 (Bogdanovka, Russia)
Immaculate draughtsman and gardener, whose transcendent studies convey the minutiae of long-forgotten rituals and which also seem to foretell his eventual untimely demise.
b 1952 (Melbourne, Australia)
Stitched, stuffed, crunched, collapsed, the soft sculptured song of this performative maker yields big beasts and insects, masks and machines, and awkward assemblies constructed to hug.
1864-1930 (Bern, Switzerland)
The man, the myth, the maker, encouraged by Dr Walter Morgenthaler, whose impossibly hallucinogenic visions and texts exemplified not only his own creative essence, but that of the entire field.
1915-1980 (Ontario, Canada)
Little-known Canadian train driver and wood carver, whose deft depictions of friends and neighbours delighted the world long after his own quiet departure.
1895-1998 (Skole, Ukraine)
4’9″ Brooklyn dress manufacturer whose artistic career began in his 70’s and finally took off after his 100th birthday party.
1903-1972 + 1915-1982 (Tennessee + Georgia, USA)
Childless husband and wife creators whose makeshift Mojave Desert Possum Trot re-cyclorama was a roadside attraction and happy home to almost one thousand hand-carved wind-powered figurines.
1904-1971 (Recklinghausen, Germany)
The exotic, the everyday and the not-so-naïve populated the townhouse garden of this modest ex-miner, until his low-brow legend was cemented in the highest-brow museums in the land.
1920-1988 (Charleston/South Carolina, USA)
Part-time blue-collar worker whose relocated Harlem lifestyle transformed into a late-blossoming studio practice of biographic observations and arresting monochromes.
1883-1945 (London, England)
York stone pavements proved a worthy battleground for this gifted wartime screever, whose chalky tales of derring-do earned him his stripes from the arty-farty Hampstead set.
b 1953 (Klerksdorp, South Africa)
Seemingly random dates document the 50-year practice of this freeform diarist, yet they belie the complexity of a pictorial life-catalogue, whose code is known only to its gentle silent maker.
1914-1992 (Sicily, Italy)
Ever-curious nomad whose incessant wanderlust and lucid dreams inspired a homeland return and an al fresco village opera of raw sculptural figuration in stone, wood and root.
1916-2001 (Valley Head/Alabama, USA)
Paradise Garden superstar and preacher whose finger called on him to paint the word of God and whose works numbered tens of thousands.
b 1985 (San Francisco/California, USA)
Celebrity, politics, TV and team sport collide with idiosyncratic commentaries on the inked wooden panels of this prolific pop list-maker and chronicler.
1872-1946 (Lubusz, Poland)
East Coast slipper manufacturer and childhood prodigy who returned to painting in his 70s and was honoured by Alfred Barr with a one-man show at MoMA in 1943.
1921-2012 (Locust Grove/Georgia, USA)
Share-cropper’s son whose lifetime at the Department of Sanitation helped him salvage materials for a dynamic and oversized oeuvre, telling the tale of the semi-autobiographical Hopeman.
1901–1997 (Indian Mills/West Virginia, USA)
Appalachian carpenter, railway worker and phenomenal fiddle player, whose signature carved faces and figures seem like old friends and family come home.
1920–1995 (Appenzell, Switzerland)
Orphaned farmhand, labourer and flower-seller whose prolific slapdash oeuvre of art, poetry and song, always reflected the Appenzell region of his birth.
1920-2011 (Volotovskoye/Oryol, Russia)
Highly celebrated and genre-defying so-called naïve, whose monumental depictions of rural and city life found him fame and fortune in his own lifetime.
b 1969 (Melbourne, Australia)
Self-portraits and still-lives, kitchen tools and text, the 30 year pastel practice of this refined studio artist reveal his rare ability to reduce his world to a balance of colour, shape and tone.
1892–1977 (Hazelton/Pennsylvania, USA)
Law school dropout from a once-monied family, this amateur painter’s drawings and oils portrayed stars, skaters, plants and beasts, all in glorious McCarthy-colour.
1781-1849 (Gloucestershire, England)
Countryman portraitist whose uni-dimensional quadrupeds never foretold his mid-19th century creationist tour de force in which Adam names all the birds and beasts of God’s earth.
1912–2006 (Rabbittown/Georgia, USA)
Beloved farmer, cotton-mill worker and minister who decorated the landscape of his Windy Hill home with his signature whirligigs and tin cut-outs.
b 1965 (Osaka, Japan)
Domestic animals become abstracted three-dimensional sculptures in the built-up textured canvases of this boyish figurative painter, whose name proclaims the studio where he works most every day.
1904–1993 (Vernon/Alabama, USA)
Born-again ex-US Marine, known as Brother Ben, who received a calling to build his Church of God and adorned it in the patriotic colours of red, white and blue.
1835-1918 (Bramber, Britain)
The acclaimed master of Victorian taxidermy whose lifetime’s journey was a tiny West Sussex museum, filled with dioramas of deceased woodland creatures in his brilliantly imagined schools, gentleman’s clubs, nursery rhymes and fantasies.
1904-1995 (Brookhaven/Mississippi, USA)
Corrugated cut-outs peopled the yard of this atypical Southern Belle, giving outer form to her inner voice through thick paint-brush figures and sharp utterances of absolute faith.
1899-1986 (Union City/Michigan, USA)
The naked forms of Jody, JoAnn and Judy once graced the mobile home of this Union City contractor, replacing his departed spouse and turning his personal attraction into a local one.
1936–2001 (Klosterneuburg, Austria)
Prolific and monumental Gugging artist whose graphic vocabulary of symbols, texts and frontal figures were imprinted on canvases, objects, buildings and trees.
1860–1939 (London, Britain)
Wildly successful commercial artist whose ubiquitous drawings of mischievous cats abstracted into virtual wallpaper with the onset of schizophrenia.
1909-1987 + 1921-1992 (Hugoton/Kansas + Thompson/Iowa, USA)
Iowa rodeo farmhands who gave birth to the World’s Largest Bottle Cap Arena, only to be survived and immortalised by their odd metallic progeny.
1803-1887 (Freistadt, Austria)
Inspired by the encyclopaedic disseminations of the Comte de Buffon, this hermit-like illustrator fictionalised flora and fauna with such theatrical flair that he effectively pre-dated Surrealism.
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