Group show arranged by Joyce Laing demonstrates the healing power of art
When French sculptor and painter Jean Dubuffet set out to identify art that could be viewed as free from aesthetic norms he labelled it L’Art Brut. This new exhibition at the Collins Gallery showcases works gathered on the same basis from The Art Extraordinary Trust and arranged by Joyce Laing, the gallery’s founder. Outsider art, as Dubuffet’s phrase is often translated, can show a range of unhampered creative acts, fantasy worlds and human confessions. Much of the work on display, like Dubuffet’s initial collection, is made by non-professionals, in particular people suffering from mental illnesses, and for some viewers the accompanying text of each artist’s life story will be more interesting than the works on display.
However, there are stand out pieces, such as the work of Robert A with his impressively constructed drawings of mathematically schizoid planes and faces, layered with quotes and confessions. Jane Howie also deserves mention for her tackily glitter-penned but moving colour shapes, which are reminiscent of the symbolic designs found in Aboriginal art and are apparently created by the avowed psychic medium while in a trance-like state.
The show leaves a lasting impression of art’s positive ability to heal.
Collins Gallery, Glasgow until Sat 25 Jun.