“Obsessive Drawing”


"The readily available materials of stylus and paper have been used by
self-taught artists to express themselves for a very long time. Regardless of
economics, geography, education, or other conditions (confinement, for example),
the beauty of line and the eloquence of the mark dominate the visual experience.
Adolf Wölfli, Madge Gill, and Edmond Monsiel, all well-established artists in
the canon of art brut, exploit line in their highly mysterious and obsessively
detailed compositions. The compulsive, accumulative quality of much of this
work, what is known as horror vacui (the need to fill the page), sets the stage
for artists working today. Although contemporary versions of obsessive drawing
can be more reductive, even quite minimal, the drawings are labor intensive and
painstakingly precise, mirroring the methodologies of some of the best art brut.

“Obsessive Drawing” highlights contemporary interpretations of line by
five emerging self-taught artists."

September 14, 2005–March 19, 2006

American Folk Art Museum
45 West
53rd Street
New York NY 10019



Eugene Andolsek (b. 1921)
Crabtree, Pennsylvania
c. 1950–2003
on graph paper
16 x 21 in.
Collection of C. Helen Lozovoy
Photo by Gavin Ashworth