Conference | Contemporary Outsider Art: The Global Context

outsider artThe University of Melbourne – 23 – 26 October 2014


Forty years after the term ‘Outsider art’ was coined by Roger Cardinal to encompass works by untrained artists who work outside the established art world, new paradigms and definitions are being sought. The current enthusiasm for these forms of expression culminated in Massimiliano Gioni’s 2013 Venice Biennale, which dedicated several exhibits to self-taught or Outsider artists. Reviewing the Biennale in Art and America, Travis Jeppesen wrote ‘the success of Gioni’s bold production signals a move beyond ‘the contemporary’ as the default category we have relied upon for far too long’. Such comments demonstrate the timeliness of this topic and the potential for this conference to contribute to and enrich our understanding of contemporary culture at the broadest level.

The increased interest in Outsider art, however, has also raised a number of significant questions in response to which Contemporary Outsider Art: The Global Context proposes an inter-disciplinary exploration of the field, drawing on the experience and knowledge of Australian and international artists, collectors, curators and scholars. The conference comprises keynote addresses, sessions of 30-minute papers and round table discussions where presenters from different disciplines and backgrounds will engage with the topics relating to the three major themes of the conference:

The Practices of Outsider Artists

Collections of Outsider Art and Curated Exhibitions

Outsider Art History and Theory

To download the full program and to register for the conference visit the website: