new-york

Sister Gertrude Morgan

American Folk Art Museum

This retrospective, which featured the paintings, sculpture, writings, and music of New Orleans–based self-taught visionary artist Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900–1980), reflected a recent shift within the hybrid field of folk/outsider art from market-driven sensationalism toward critical self-awareness and increased curatorial accountability. Morgan, an evangelical African American from Alabama who believed herself to have been called by God to preach the Gospel through a range of expressive practices, is the kind of artist often misrepresented by the discourse of outsider art that is the legacy of Jean Dubuffet’s category art brut, a bundle of primitivist clichés that continues to celebrate social isolation and madness as markers of an ideal pole of unblemished artistic expression. This show brilliantly recovered Morgan’s contribution by exploring the rich social and artistic contexts within

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