What It Means To Be A 'Self-Taught Genius' In Art

Outsider art is a hairy term. Outside of what exactly? According to whom? In 1994, in a review of the Outsider Art Fair, Roberta Smith valiantly attempted to define the expression, stipulating outsider art to be "a somewhat vague, catchall term for self-taught artists of any kind."

Self-taught. The phrase is only a narrow margin less problematic. "It has been argued by many critics that the category is meaningless," explained critic Lyle Rexer, "since on the deepest levels all...

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