Outsider Art Fair announces new Director, and hybrid online-physical Paris edition

Art Daily
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Carlo Zinelli, Quattro uomini verdi e uccelli su sfondo giallo (Four green men and birds on yellow background), 1963, tempera on paper, 20 x 27.5 inches, Collection of Oliana and Alessandro Zinelli.
Carlo Zinelli, Quattro uomini verdi e uccelli su sfondo giallo (Four green men and birds on yellow background), 1963, tempera on paper, 20 x 27.5 inches, Collection of Oliana and Alessandro Zinelli.

PARIS.-Outsider Art Fair, the premier fair dedicated to Self-Taught Art, Art Brut and Outsider Art, announced Nikki Iacovella as its new Director. The 8th Paris edition of OAF is scheduled to take place from October 21-30, 2020, and for the first time will include a hybrid of online and in-person components.

Since 2018, Iacovella has served as the Managing Director at Peter Freeman Inc. in New York. Prior to that she was a Gallery and Project Manager for Art Basel. Originally from Brisbane, she managed a Melbourne-based gallery specializing in indigenous Australian art before moving to New York. “Nikki has the perfect combination of top echelon fair and gallery experience. We look forward to the addition of her strong voice as we head towards our thirtieth year in business,” said fair owner Andrew Edlin. “With its devout following and strong community of passionate galleries, I’m not only excited, but honored to direct OAF during this time of unprecedented interest in Self-Taught art,” commented Iacovella.

Following the success of Art Brut Global, the fair’s first ever online exhibition which launched this past summer with formidable sales and over 5,000 virtual visitors, the eighth edition of OAF Paris will expand this model further, providing each exhibitor with a dedicated online viewing room (OVR) accessible via a new platform designed and powered by Artlogic. Using industry-leading technology, the platform will include features like “View on the Wall” and enhanced search capabilities of up to two dozen artworks per exhibitor, along with in-depth artist biographies, and links to gallery websites and social media. Participants for the Paris fair will include accomplished dealers like American Primitive, James Barron Art, Cavin-Morris Gallery, Creative Growth, Andrew Edlin Gallery, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery, galerie gugging, Carl Hammer, Yukiko Koide Presents, Galerie Pol Lémetais, Maroncelli 12, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, RIZOMI, J.P. Ritsch-Fisch, and SHRINE, with the full exhibitor list to be announced at a later date.

At the same time, the fair will present its “Curated Space” in a dynamic collaboration with Hôtel Drouot, the venerable Paris auction house that has hosted the OAF Talks series since 2017. Alison M. Gingeras will curate “Sexual Personae” on the premises of Drouot, an exhibition that examines representations of women in works by a large range of self-taught, outsider and art brut artists. The exhibition brings together a panoply of iconic examples of archetypes from Outsider Art: from Henry Darger’s Vivian Girls to a contemporary Madonna by Elisabetta Zangrandi, and Eugene von Bruenchenhein’s pin-up photographs of his wife. According to Gingeras, “Without the influence of the Academy or the watchful social mores of mainstream art institutions, one could argue that an outsider’s conception of “woman,” femininity and gender is much less burdened than that of modern and contemporary artists.” All of the works will be on view on-site at Hôtel Drouot and for sale through the auction house’s online platform, Drouot Digital.

The tradition of the “Curated Space” began with Wide Open Arts’ acquisition of OAF in 2012 and has included standout booths like Danel Cordier’s Collection curated by Antoine Gentil (Paris, 2017), an homage to the late pioneering dealer Phyllis Kind curated by Edward M. Gomez (New York, 2019), and most recently “Relishing the Raw: Contemporary Artists Collecting Outsider Art,” curated by Paul Laster (New York, 2020).