Osservatorio Outsider Art #19

Special Issue on Mediumistic Art


A large portion of the latest issue no. 19 od the Italian journal Osservatorio Outsider Art is dedicated to mediumistic art in its various facets. In her article Voci e colti dell'altrove (Voices and faces from elsewhere), the journal’s editor Eva di Stefano presents a fine and illuminating introduction to the subject. Starting out from Jean Dubuffet's interest in mediumistic productions since the early 1920s, especially after his encounter with the work of Clémentine Ripoche, Eva di Stefano describes the treatment of a certain class of mediumistic works within Dubuffet's concept of Art Brut, the changing attitude of art history and the art business towards mediumistic art in the course of time up to the present.

In a sense, the following article by Turhan Demirel offers another brief introductory overview. Alba Romano Pace dedicates her excellent contribution to the influence of spiritistic and mediumistic practices, especially automatic writing and drawing, in the development of Surrealism under André Breton. In doing so, she paints a differentiated picture of the influences and the way the Surrealists, and especially André Breton, both surrendered to the dangerous attraction of occult practices and finally took control of them in the development of their own independent creative processes.

In her article, Lucienne Peiry portrays three of the most important French mediumistic artists, Augustin Lesage, Fleury-Joseph Crépin and Victor Simon in their reception by Jean Dubuffet. She also points out the direct influence of their works, especially those by Lesage, on his great cycle of works L'Hourloupe, in which he sought to invent a new unconventional way of organizing reality.

The three concluding articles are all dedicated to individual female mediumistic artists. Pilar Bonet Julve provides a sensitive account of the lives and works of Jane Ruffié, Margarethe Held and Gertrude Honzatko-Mediz from a feminist perspective, while Pavel Konečný focuses on one of the leading Czech mediumistic artists, Cecilie Marková. An exciting contribution by Daniela Rosi, Il popolo celeste di Maria Orecchioni (The celestial people of Maria Orecchioni), takes the reader on a real discovery with her presentation of Maria Orecchioni's visionary images that she developed in various evolutions from stains on cloths.

All in all, the articles in the Osservatorio Outsider Art on mediumistic art offer a very good introduction and overview of the subject and also insightful treatments of a series of in-depth aspects. 



The journal can be ordered as a print version or downloaded as a PDF from the Osservatorio Outsider Art website.






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