We took a break from cleaning to view Seeing Stars at the Menil this weekend. I thought this section from the exhibit catalog was a good intro to the show:
The exhibition’s title, taken from the familiar experience of “seeing stars” refers to the physiological anomaly in which the stimulation of the retina by the brain creates the illusion of flashes of light, colors and shapes. Evoking this phenomenon, the works on view suggest that creative vision is perhaps most interesting when one’s eyes are shut to the outside world and inspiration is allowed to well from within.
The room was dimly lit, I’m guessing because with a lot of outsider work they wasn’t archival? Upon entering, I was excited to see a Henry Darger piece in person (a huge 9-foot scroll), but around the wall was the highlight for me, works by Charles A.A. Dellschau, an outsiders artist whose work was discovered in a landfill by a furniture dealer, lost under carpets, and then found by a student at St. Thomas. His combined so much of my favorite things: circus-inspired letter and imagery, watercolor and collage, secret societies, and a fascination with early flight. Read more here.
My other favorite pieces were tattoo drawings by I.E. Requier that also had a touch of circus imagery. Unfortunately, I can’t find anything about the artist online and photos were prohibited at the Menil. I need to remember to go back a few more times before the show ends!