Alabama

Richard Burnside, Bruno Del Favero, Charlie Lucas, James Miles, Mose Tolliver & Myrtice West

June 30 – August 12, 2016

Installation view of Mose Tolliver paintings

Installation view of Charlie Lucas paintings

Installation view of Mose Tolliver paintings

Installation view of Mose Tolliver paintings

The idea for the show came from this online magazine Circa with all these strange old houses and they once a month put out a section "Houses we love under $50,000." So I always check this out and found this house in Ft. Gaines, GA for $15,600 that was amazingly nice. I thought I'd look at the map and see where it is and pull up the town for a gander. Ft. Gaines is on the Alabama border really in the middle of nowhere except a big lake. The Alabama side also looked interesting and weird. The town's website had a 4th of July section with maybe 300 pics of just fireworks. I started picturing living there part time. I mentioned this to the guys that run Material Culture in Philly which is the craziest weird auction house. I found it first when buying a bunch of Haitian election year campaign t-shirts from Jonathan Demme and this led me to want to keep looking at their stuff. They are big fans of a bunch "Outsider-ish" artists like Mose Tolliver and Richard Burnside, Howard Finster, etc. Anyway I started buying works of this group when I found them. So the Georgia/Alabama house got sold to someone else, but I had all this stuff I had discovered from looking around to see what happens in the area and other small spots in Alabama. Eventually I had enough to fill up the gallery for a show.   ---- Jack Hanley
 
 
 
 

Richard Burnside (b. 1944, Baltimore, Maryland) began painting around 1980, while employed as a chef in a restaurant in Charlotte, NC. In 1983, he moved to Pendleton, South Carolina, where he now resides. His paintings of kings, queens, tigers, wolves, and cats are allegorical expressions of the African-American cultural experience. The figures in his paintings are often surrounded by snakes, symbols or bugs he calls the “Roman Alphabet.” Public collections include the Smithsonian American Art Museum, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, GA and Mckissick Museum in South Carolina.

 

Bruno Del Favero (b. 1910, Princeton, Michigan; d. 1995 in Greenwich, Connecticut) moved to Italy at the age of five and returned to America in 1928, where he worked in Greenwich as a mason, chaffeur and landscape gardener. By the early 1970s, Del Favero began to paint his delicate and mysterious landscapes and exhibit in local art shows, before joining the Greenwich Art Society. He maintained a studio in the basement of his home, but never shared his art with his wife and five children. After the artist's death, Del Favero's family introduced his work to New York dealers Shari Cavin and Randall Morris in the late 1990s. Del Favero's solo exhibitions at the Cavin-Morris Gallery received critical praise and his work was included in the Philadelphia Art Museum's 2013 exhibition entitled "Great and Mighty Things" Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection.

 

Charlie Lucas (b. 1951, Birmingham, Alabama) is known for his paintings of Alabama's Black Belt region and Birmingham District's iron and steel industry. In 1988, he had his first exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta in its survey of contemporary folk art titled, "Outside the Mainstream: Folk Art in Our Time." Lucas’ work has appeared various exhibitions at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in North Carolina and the Rosa Parks Museum.

 
 
James Miles (b. 1957, San Francisco, California) is known for his ink drawings of miniature scenes that tell stories from everyday life. Soft-spoken and reticent, Miles’ quiet miniature scenes combine perspectives and blurr the limits of size, gender and time. They are spaces that use the logic of dreams and fairytales, but in Miles’ versions, the ambiguity is always celebratory. Miles’ work was selected to be featured on Google's self-driving car prototypes and has appeared in exhibitions at University of California Berkeley Art Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Jack Fischer gallery and Baer Ridgeway.
 
 
Mose Tolliver (b. 1920, Montgomery, Alabama; d. 2006, Montgomery, Alabama) uses vibrant color to depict fruits, animals and people. His style fluctuates between the simplistic and pastoral to the abstract and erotic. Tolliver's work has been exhibited widely and public collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the American Folk Art Museum in New York, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
 
 
Myrtice West (b. 1923, Cherokee County, Alabama; d. 2010, Centre, Alabama) is best known for producing fourteen paintings that depict the events in the book of Revelation. In 1983, West self-published a 47-page booklet, The Book of Revelation in Spirit and Vision. Painting provided comfort for West whose life was riddled with sadness and loss, and she hoped that her paintings would be an inspiration to those who saw her works.