The fall of 1989 marked the inaugural opening of the Carl Hammer Gallery at 620 N. Michigan Avenue, bringing with it a purposeful vision and a desire to fit in with an already historical and established Chicago gallery community. Finding the art gallery world both challenging and insightful, Carl Hammer Gallery brought to the venture a unique focus of art history in its commitment to represent the “Outsider Artist” at a time when existing local and international art scenes seemed reluctant to acknowledge the “Outsider” due, in large part, of its production by “self-taught artists”. Ironically, however, the least reluctant to recognize the importance of the “Outsider” genre were those from within the academic and artist community. Having developed their talents via academic training, and thus “officially” canonized, they also led the way in recognizing the innate genius of the “self-taught artist”, fostering a merging of the Outsider into the mainstream and affecting broad art world reception and inclusion by the canons of art history and the art academy. In due time, the Outsider art genre achieved its deserved recognition as well as a place of greater prominence and equality within the international art history spectrum.
It is with a great amount of pleasure that Carl Hammer Gallery celebrates The Outsider artist, giving recognition to its place and prominence within the historical record of art creation itself.