Wilder Shores – untamed art at its best

Wilder Shores_600A partnership with MaineHealth and YES Art Works, the studios of Creative Works Systems.

YES Art Works is thrilled to unveil its latest exhibit, Wilder Shores, which for the next year will be rotating among MaineHealth facilities throughout the state.

Click here for a full schedule of the traveling exhibit.

Wilder Shores is a collection of abstract expressionist style paintings based on the work of Cy Twombly (April 25, 1928 – July 5, 2011). Twombly was an American painter of large-scale, calligraphic and graffiti-like works on solid fields of mostly gray, tan, or off-white colors. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

The exhibit is a collection by artists from YES Art Works, the art studios of Creative Work Systems, a Maine nonprofit organization that supports adults with disabilities. YES Art Works provides opportunity and support for artists in their quest to become working artists, and promotes their work as an emerging and increasingly important contribution to the contemporary art world. This series of paintings will be exhibited throughout various MaineHealth facilities beginning August 2015 through December 2016.

YES Art Works artists exemplify ‘Outsider Art,’ a movement with roots stretching back nearly a century but which recently has grown in popularity. The term Outsider Art, coined by art scholar Roger Cardinal, is an English version of art brut (Raw Art), a label created by French artists Jean Dubuffet. In 1947, Dubuffet introduced art brut in a Paris exhibit of work composed by untrained artists, outside the artistic mainstream, “produced by persons unscathed by artistic culture, where mimicry plays little or no part.” Cardinal’s book, Outsider Art, and his subsequent exhibition in the 1970s broadened the movement’s audience.

The appeal of Outsider Art lies not so much in its anti-elitism, but in its honesty. Untrained artists make up for in transparency what they lack in technique; while less accomplished in one respect, outsider art offers undiluted expression, without influence. From one perspective, Outsider Art, specifically because of its rawness, offers a truer form of expression than more refined techniques.