Art Brut II

Blue Birds in the Tree-Scottie Wilson ca 1960
Blue Birds in the Tree-Scottie Wilson ca 1960

One of my more popular posts, and a piece that I have a special fondness for is Art Brut, which highlighted the work of visionary/outsider artists without formal training, many of whom were institutionalised for mental illness. This was followed shortly after by tangentially related posts on The Postman Cheval’s Ideal Palace and the Acid Cats of Louis Wain, again pieces I am quite tender about,  if only because I got to indulge my penchant for purple prose (anyone for a spot of hallucinated decorative splendour?), while showcasing truly exceptional art and architecture.

So after a delayed interval, (a butterfly for a mind), here are more artists driven by an urgent inner necessity to create intensely luminous works of art.

Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern

Born in East Prussia (now Russia) Friedrich Schroder was sent to a juvenile delinquent facility at the age of 14 and was committed to an asylum at 17. During the 1920’s he founded a cult, though any money raised went to feeding the destitute ruined by the hyper-inflation of the time. In 1930 he was institutionalised again for debt and working as a conman, posing as Dr Eliot Gnass von Sonnenstern (Sun Star). It was during this period that he met an artist who encouraged him to draw. During WWII he spent further time in prison and labour camps. Friedrich’s allegorical drawings and paintings ladened with erotic symbolism was lauded by the artist and critic Jean Dubuffet, the man responsible for coining the phrase Art Brut.

Schonwarsia Mondmarchen-Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern 1954
Schonwarsia Mondmarchen-Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern-1954
The-Demoness-of-Urgency-Friedrich Schroder-Sonnenstern-1958
The-Demoness-of-Urgency-Friedrich Schroder-Sonnenstern 1958
The Moon-Moralistic Veneration of the Artist's Bones - Friedrich Schröder- Sonnenstern
The Moon-Moralistic Veneration of the Artist’s Bones – Friedrich Schröder- Sonnenstern

Consuelo González Amezcua

Born in Mexico, Consuelo (Chelo) Amezcua moved to Del Rio, Texas at the age of five where she was remain for the rest of her life, working at the local department store selling candy. She won a scholarship to study art in Mexico City but her father died, leading her to forfeit the scholarship so that she could remain with her family. Known locally as an eccentric, her family paid little interest in her drawings and poetry (which is frequently incorporated in her art), though at the age of 65 she was the subject of her first exhibition. Chelo’s work is characterised by biblical imagery, Mexican folklore and stunning filigree decorative motifs.

McNay Art Institute and Chelo-Consuelo) Gonzalez Amezcuacirca 1967
McNay Art Institute and Chelo-Consuelo Gonzalez Amezcua circa 1967
The_Prophecy-Consuelo González Amezcua 1966
The_Prophecy-Consuelo González Amezcua 1966
Consuelo (Chelo) Gonzalez Amezcua
Consuelo (Chelo) Gonzalez Amezcua

Joseph E.Yoakum

Jospeh E.Yoakum was born in Missouri of African-American, Cherokee and French descent. He joined the circus at nine and worked for Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show which toured Europe between 1903 to 1906. He served in France during WWI. After the war he travelled throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, working on railroads and as a seaman. Joseph settled in the Southside of Chicago in the late 1920’s, working at various occupations including carpenter, janitor and mechanic. At the age of 72 he was inspired by a dream to start making art, calling it ‘spiritual unfoldment’. During the last decade of his life he produced thousands of anthropomorphic landscapes inspired by his extensive travels.

Near Naples. Italy-Joseph E. Yoakum
Near Naples. Italy-Joseph E. Yoakum
Near Damascus Syria-Joseph E. Yoakum
Near Damascus, Syria-Joseph E. Yoakum
Near Trieste-Joseph E. Yoakum
Near Trieste-Joseph E. Yoakum

Scottie Wilson

Born of Jewish descent, Louis Freeman grew up in the tenements of Glasgow, Scotland,  dropping out of school at the age of eight to help provide income for the struggling family. He later enlisted in the army, changing his name to Scottie Wilson. After serving in WWI he moved to Toronto, Canada, where he owned a second-hand store. At the age of 44 he was listening to Mendelssohn when, all of a sudden, he dipped a pen into the inkwell and started drawing. Pablo Picasso and Andre Breton were early collectors of his intricate and decorative drawings of birds, fish and fauna.

House of Peace-Scottie Wilson
House of Peace-Scottie Wilson
Scottie Wilson
Scottie Wilson
Scottie Wilson
Scottie Wilson

30 thoughts on “Art Brut II

    1. Thank you Miss Heart. You know that this is one of my favourite subjects and I am delighted when it gets positive comments because they are amazing. Thank you for your well wishes, I return them of course.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So happy you made a return to Art Brut. I especially love the work of Consuela; it’s so intricate. And Schroeder’s pieces? Genius. It is proof that art is not always ‘learned’ but comes from within. For the self taught artist, this is inspiring and encouraging. No matter how technically brilliant you might be, the vision is vital. Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vision is everything. The burning urgency of these pieces is really communicated, I believe. You know I always get round (back) to all my little projects in the end, and Art Brut is definitely a expanding neighbourhood in Cakeland.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These are lovely. I particularly like the landscapes and the very intricate line drawings. I shall attempt some of them, along with my cartoons. A new cartoon landscape on the way! It’s good to be back. Alas, I hardly know where I’ve been: just one of those AWOL things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well it is great to have you back my friend. I look forward to seeing the landscapes and I am glad you enjoyed your return trip to Cakeland. I know those AWOL moments (or days, weeks, months). Some days I can be intensely busy but I will forgotten what I was doing the next day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Also… are you familiar with Yayoi Kusama? This made me think of her work. It’s not ‘outsider’ art but it’s definitely visionary. She does huge installations that fill entire rooms. One series is called Infinity Mirrors. I feel like I already had this conversation with you…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I think I have spoken to you before about keeping in class…Miss Kusama has actually been featured here in reference to her illustrations for Alice In Wonderland… I will send you the link to refresh your memory…she also had a platonic romance with Joseph Cornell of Utopia Parkway

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know… as soon as I hit ‘reply’ with this comment, I realized how ridiculous it sounded. Of course you’d be familiar with her. I did not, however, remember her being featured here. But really, how can I remember everything in Cakeland? Professor Eidetic Memory! Grr!

        Liked by 1 person

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