Obelisk Art History
Themes in Art

Outsider Art
Unconventional visions

Outsider Art, Themes in Art

It’s been called art brut, or raw art — but through history some artists have defied classification. Working outside the mainstream art world we find wildly creative people rewriting history, preaching a message, or trying to silence their demons.

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Australia is without Doubt the Habitat of the Giant Strawberry, Adolf Wölfli

Australia is without Doubt the Habitat of the Giant Strawberry

Adolf Wölfli, 1911
Bed of Lotus Roses, Aloïse Corbaz

Bed of Lotus Roses

Aloïse Corbaz, 1947
Blue Animal with Five Figures, Bill Traylor

Blue Animal with Five Figures

Bill Traylor, 1939-1942
Brown House with Multiple Figures and Birds, Bill Traylor

Brown House with Multiple Figures and Birds

Bill Traylor, c. 1939-1942
CAAD Auto Fallease, Charles Dellschau

CAAD Auto Fallease

Charles Dellschau, 1919
Christoph Columbus, Adolf Wölfli

Christoph Columbus

Adolf Wölfli, 1930
Cleopatra — St. Adolf-Ring, Giant City in India, Adolf Wölfli

Cleopatra — St. Adolf-Ring, Giant City in India

Adolf Wölfli, 1915
Crucifixion of the Holy St. Adolf, Adolf Wölfli

Crucifixion of the Holy St. Adolf

Adolf Wölfli, 1914
Edward and Sarah Rutter, Joshua Johnson

Edward and Sarah Rutter

Joshua Johnson, 1805

Sit today, my dear child: whosoever's hungry, may bark: the warhose flies in the wind: the pointer with the trowel: is truly my worst foe.

From the Cradle to the Grave, Excerpt

Adolf Wölfli, 1912
Giant City, Band-Wald-Hall, Adolf Wölfli

Giant City, Band-Wald-Hall

Adolf Wölfli, 1911
Gourmet Food Store: Feeding the Fishes, Adolf Wölfli

Gourmet Food Store: Feeding the Fishes

Adolf Wölfli, 1911
Illustration 43, Measure Across Center, Charles Dellschau

Illustration 43, Measure Across Center

Charles Dellschau, 1900
Jesus in Podravina, Ivan Večenaj

Jesus in Podravina

Ivan Večenaj, 1975
Liftpower Harnessed, Charles Dellschau

Liftpower Harnessed

Charles Dellschau, 1899
Many Mansions, Madge Gill

Many Mansions

Madge Gill, 1951
Mental Asylum Band-Copse, Adolf Wölfli

Mental Asylum Band-Copse

Adolf Wölfli, 1910
Nativity, Ivan Večenaj

Nativity

Ivan Večenaj, 1970
Noah's Ark, Edward Hicks

Noah's Ark

Edward Hicks, 1846
Plate 2627: Guarda, Charles Dellschau

Plate 2627: Guarda

Charles Dellschau, 1912
Plate 4520: MAYBE, Charles Dellschau

Plate 4520: MAYBE

Charles Dellschau, 1899-1900
Recolections Part 2, Prof Carolus on Otto Krause, Charles Dellschau

Recolections Part 2, Prof Carolus on Otto Krause

Charles Dellschau, 1899-1900
Red Man, Bill Traylor

Red Man

Bill Traylor, c. 1940
Revolving Generator, Charles Dellschau

Revolving Generator

Charles Dellschau, 1899
The Atlantic Ocean and the Harbor of Cradle-Beach, Adolf Wölfli

The Atlantic Ocean and the Harbor of Cradle-Beach

Adolf Wölfli, 1911
The Eyeglass-Butterfly in India, Adolf Wölfli

The Eyeglass-Butterfly in India

Adolf Wölfli, 1911
The Rooster, Ivan Večenaj

The Rooster

Ivan Večenaj, 1972
The Spark of Life, Charles Dellschau

The Spark of Life

Charles Dellschau, 1899-1900
The St. Adolf-Ship in the Great Eastern Sea, Adolf Wölfli

The St. Adolf-Ship in the Great Eastern Sea

Adolf Wölfli, 1918
The St. Adolf-Swiss-Tower, Adolf Wölfli

The St. Adolf-Swiss-Tower

Adolf Wölfli, 1918
Three female figures, Madge Gill

Three female figures

Madge Gill, c. 1940
Through the headlights we see the land of fire, Aloïse Corbaz

Through the headlights we see the land of fire

Aloïse Corbaz, c. 1941-1951
Untitled (Radio), Bill Traylor

Untitled (Radio)

Bill Traylor, c. 1940-1942
Untitled (Red Goat with Snake), Bill Traylor

Untitled (Red Goat with Snake)

Bill Traylor, 1939-1942
Untitled (Yellow and Blue House with Figures and Dog), Bill Traylor

Untitled (Yellow and Blue House with Figures and Dog)

Bill Traylor, 1939
Untitled, 1950s, Madge Gill

Untitled, 1950s

Madge Gill, 1950
Village Fair, Ivan Večenaj

Village Fair

Ivan Večenaj, 1973
Weather Lodge, Charles Dellschau

Weather Lodge

Charles Dellschau, 1899
Yellow Chicken, Bill Traylor

Yellow Chicken

Bill Traylor, 1939-1940
More Themes in Art
Ancient Classics, Themes in Art

Ancient Classics

A good story never gets old

Still Lifes, Themes in Art

Still Lifes

Quiet moments with simple objects

Artists of the African Diaspora, Themes in Art

Artists of the African Diaspora

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