Naive Art, or Outsider Art is a term which is applied to the work of non-professional, self-taught artists (also called naifs or naïfs) who, while lacking orthodox skills, apply themselves to their art in a resolute and independent spirit. Naive artists should not to be confused with hobbyists. The naive artist creates with the same passion as trained artists but without any formal knowledge of methods.
There is a tendency for naive art to be extremely detailed, with a tendency toward the use of brilliant, saturated colours and a characteristic absence of perspective, which creates the illusion of figures floating in space, representing memories, dreams, fantasies and scenes from every day life with an emphasis on color and shapes.
Among the the most famous artists whose work may be called naive are Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) and Grandma Moses (1860-1961). Naive art is sometimes referred to as primitive, and is thought to be in the school of folk art, but they are very different because of the simple fact that Naive art is less concerned with social structures, political correctness, and tradition.
Grandma Moses, or more formerly know as Anna Mary Robertson Moses, was one of the first famous naive artists, who started painting at the young age of 75. Anna Moses desire to paint was triggered by her inability to do needlework anymore due to her arthritis.
Anna Mary Robertson Moses was born in 1860 in New York, was married at the age of 27, Anna bore 10 children out of which only 5 survived.
Anna Mary Robertsson was strong willed (and some may say fiesty), and after the death of her husband in 1927 she moved back to New York from Virginia.
The works of Grandma Moses were discovered by the art collector, Louis Calder. During the Great Depression when Anna Robertson was trying to sell some her art (at the Women's Exchange) Louis Calder bought many of her pieces and by 1939, Grandma Moses had three showing in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. One year later Anna Robertson had her first solo exhibition in New York.
Grandma Moses portrayed happy real life scenes, and her style echoed stitching on fabric from her earlier years. From the start of her painting career at the age of 75 to her death at the age of 101 Grandma Moses painted about 1600 paintings. Anna Robertson may have been an amateur but she contributed greatly to the Naive Art movement of the 19th and 20th centuries.
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