The End Is Near! Las Vegas
Las Vegas Art Museum presents an exhibition produced by Dilettante Press based
upon the original exhibition curated by Roger Manley at the American Visionary Art
Museum - Baltimore
May 8 - July 10, 1999
The exhibit will display nearly 100 original Apocalyptic and Utopian works from some of the world's most renowned Visionary artists, including Howard Finster, Joe Coleman, Paul Laffoley, Norbert Kox, and Grant Wallace.
In conjunction with the exhibition opening and party, LVAM and Dillettante Press are presentinga symposium at the museum that features lectures by James Mann and Hillel Schwartz, and several panel discussions, with topics such as: "Apocalypse Today, Utopia Tomorrow: Visionary Art and the New Millenium" and "Will Visionary Art be the ARt of the 21st Century?" Some of America's most distinguished Millenium and Apocalypse experts will be attending, including author and curator of The End is Near!, renowned Outsider Art authority Roger Manley; Hillel Schwartz, Ph.D., widely considered the U.S.'s foremost Millennial scholar; author and publisher Adam Parfrey, and others. The artist panels will feature painters Norbert Kox, William Thomas Thompson, Frank Bruno, Joe Coleman, Paul Laffoley and Stephen Powers, discussing their views of the Apocalypse and Utopia and the implications and applications to their work.
This is the fourth stop, and the second museum venue, of The End is Near! tour, which originated in 1997 at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, the first national museum dedicated to Visionary Art. The Las Vegas exhibition will feature the museum debut of works by Grant Wallace, considered to be one of the most exciting finds in the Visionary Art world in the last fifteen years.
Both The End is Near! book and the exhibition feature religious, visionary and just plain strange artwork by Outsider or Visionary artist - eccentric, obsessive, but otherwise ordinary individuals with little or no formal training in art, who have created works of outstanding originality in technique, content and design. Contributing essayists to the book include the Kalai Lama, renowned Harvard paleontologist STephen Jay Gould, underground publishing icon Adam Parfrey, and the Rev. Howard Finster.
exerpt from article in Art Beat, April-June 1999, Vol. 45, No. 2
Slouching Toward Utopia - curator's
introduction to the exhibit
James Mann, Ph.D
Commentaries on Outsider Art -
"This art has been created by ordinary individuals who are not part of the art world and who, initially at least, often have no conception of themselves as artists or of their creations as art. This last aspect is one of the most radical (in the truest sense of the word) aspects of the potent, evocative, provocative, intensely personal, unselfconscious, expressive, enigmatic, obsessive, vital, disquieting, brutal, subtle, exotic, close-to-the-ground, challenging art labeled as "Outsider."
Curator, American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland
"It is no coincidence that the growing stature and influence of Outsider Art has happened over a period when the esteem of professional contemporary art has been held increasingly in question. The great avant-garde movements have faded into history and many feel they are faced today in our museums and galleries with an art which has become increasingly obscure and inaccessible. It is no wonder that an art with immediate appeal and immediate responses, that needs little critical explanation to be fully appreciated, an art that has real meaning, that stems from the roots of genuine creativity, that is forever innovative and original and truly reflects the individuality of its host of creators, cannot fail to touch an increasing and appreciative public."
In his book Raw Creation