This year’s Outsider Art Fair, in March, was the first to be organized by New York dealer and longtime fair participant Andrew Edlin. This fall, just a year after Edlin’s company Wide Open Arts purchased the fair from founder Sanford Smith, the OAF will land in Paris (Oct. 23-27). The dates coincide with Paris’s larger and more established FIAC fair.
Taking a cue from art fairs of the past, the Paris edition will take place at the 26-room Hotel Le A. The high-end hotel (the cheapest room is $500 per night) is two blocks from the Champs Élysées and, more importantly, about a 10-minute walk from FIAC’s home at the Grand Palais.
The New York fair’s “overwhelming success” was a clear sign that Edlin should branch out to another city, he told A.i.A. by phone this morning. “We started looking for space in Paris two or three months ago. Most of the traditional venues were booked because of FIAC. We thought a hotel setting would be good for the first year,” already indicating that the OAF in Paris isn’t intended to be a one-off.
Only two of the 40 galleries that participated in the fair’s New York edition came from Europe, and Edlin anticipates that the Paris location will attract more European dealers. Already two have confirmed: Galerie Christian Berst, from Paris, and Ritsch-Fisch, from Strasbourgh (both specialize in Art Brut).
“At first, I thought we’d do it in London, to coincide with Frieze [the week before FIAC]. But France has always had more institutional support for this kind of art, a deep history with Art Brut, and a great collector base,” Edlin explained.
Dealers will bring to Paris work by some of the most well-known self-taught artists, including Henry Darger, Martín Ramírez, Judith Scott, James Castle and Joseph Yoakum. A full list of participants will be released in the coming weeks.
PHOTO: Auguste Forestier, untitled, c. 1940, 18 by 18 by 7 inches.