From Bartlett and Castle to Wolfli and Zinelli in Rago’s October 20 Auction of Outsider Art, Fine Art, and Curious Objects

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Lot 1067: Carlo Zinelli Untitled Double-sided Gouache on Paper $8,000 - 12,000
Rago Auctions
Lot 1067: Carlo Zinelli Untitled Double-sided Gouache on Paper $8,000 - 12,000
Rago Auctions

Rago is pleased to announce the auction "Outsider and Fine Art. Curious Objects." on October 20, 2019 at 11am.

"Outsider and Fine Art. Curious Objects." is Rago's best sale of outsider art to date, with 207 total lots on offer. The auction features stunning examples by masters in the category from Bartlett to Zinelli, many with provenance directly to the artists and/or celebrated collectors. The auction also features some exceptional works of fine art including paintings, works on paper, and sculpture. As in years past, trade figures, articulated artist mannequins, and devotional figures are among the offerings, as is a winning selection of vernacular photography, carnival knock downs and vaudeville dummies, signage, canes, and erotica.

"Outsider & Fine Art. Curious Objects." Sunday, October 20 at 11:00 a.m., 207 lots

Lot 1049: Adolf Wölfli Untitled Colored Pencil and Pencil on Paper $10,000 - 15,000
Rago Auctions
Lot 1049: Adolf Wölfli Untitled Colored Pencil and Pencil on Paper $10,000 - 15,000
Rago Auctions

Among the "who's who" of artists in this sale are Butch Anthony, Morton Bartlett, Hawkins Bolden, Ross Brodar, David Butler, James Castle, William Dawson, Thornton "Buck" Dial, Sam Doyle, Josephus Farmer, Roy Ferdinand, Howard Finster, A.W. Gimbi, Ted Gordon, Samuel Granatt, Alex Grey, Ken Grimes, James Havard, William Hawkins, Katherine Jakobsen, Gustav Klumpp, Malcolm McKesson, Willie Massey, Ed Mumma, Michel Nedjar, Mattie Lou O'Kelley, Philadelphia Wireman, Daniel Rohrig, Antonio Romano, Jack Savitsky, Antoinette Schwob, Lewis Smith, Mary T. Smith, Jimmie Lee Sudduth, Terao Katsuhiro, Edgar Tolson, Mary Francis Whitfield, Clarence and Grace Woolsey, Purvis Young, Malcah Zeldis and four artists from the Center for Creative Works, and many more including...

Lot 1034: Clementine Hunter Cane River Baptising $4,000 - 6,000
Rago Auctions
Lot 1034: Clementine Hunter Cane River Baptising $4,000 - 6,000
Rago Auctions

Carlo Zinelli, a canonical Art Brut figure who suffered from schizophrenia exacerbated by his experiences as a soldier during the Spanish Civil War and World War II. He painted for up to eight hours a day, producing nearly two thousand works of art using gouache. He covered his paper (often both sides) with animals and people in profile and embellished with inscriptions. When the artist Jean Dubuffet - who first championed the work of outsiders as artists and coined the term Art Brut - learned of Zinelli’s work in the 1960s, he added ninety-nine pieces to his Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland. 

Adolf Wölfli, considered among the greatest exemplars of Art Brut, designated "le grand Wölfli" by Jean Dubuffet. A diagnosed schizophrenic, in 1908 he started work on an illustrated personal mythology that filled 25,000 pages in 46 books by the time of his death. His composition is wildly inventive and complex, morphing from people to landscapes to animals to letters and numbers to musical notation to text and, always, birds.

Clementine Hunter, the descendant of enslaved people, a self-taught artist and one of the field’s best-known. A plantation worker, she recorded everyday life from memory in a bright palette, disregarding perspective and scale. Hunter did not garner public attention until the 1970s when both the Museum of American Folk Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibited her work.

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