Highlights from the art collection of the William Louis-Dreyfus Foundation will be presented in a group exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art from July 19 to October 11, 2015. Featuring a focused look at five artists – James Castle, Thornton Dial, Nellie Mae Rowe, Bill Traylor, and Willie Young – the exhibition considers the contributions of a select group of artists who eschewed formal training to embark on their separate journeys, resulting in astoundingly open and imaginative bodies of work.
The “self-taught” genre remains one of the most complex and intriguing themes in modern and contemporary art – a concept that has been discussed, debated, and vetted from a wide variety of vantage points. By identifying a select group of artists to consider within this rubric, the exhibition examines the vastly different realities that can inspire an individual to create ambitious and lasting artworks that do not fit neatly into the trends of mainstream art practice. From the stark figurative silhouettes of Bill Traylor to the dense and colorful compositions of Nellie Mae Rowe, the works in the exhibition do not possess a single style or preoccupation but rather evidence the deep and profound expression of a personal vision that perseveres over the lifetimes of these artists.
The Katonah Museum of Art (KMA), located at 134 Jay Street (Route 22) in Katonah, NY, is a cultural destination offering changing exhibitions that feature art from all cultures and time periods. The Museum attracts visitors from Westchester and Fairfield Counties, as well as the larger tri-state region. Located at the northern end of Katonah’s “Museum Mile” just off of Route 22, and neighboring John Jay Homestead and Caramoor, the Katonah Museum of Art is a two-minute taxi ride from the Katonah Metro North train station.
The KMA offers lectures, workshops, concerts and other events for a general audience, as well as innovative and substantive programs for over 100 member schools. The Learning Center is an interactive space where children can come on a daily basis to explore and create art. Among the many programs for children and families are Stroller Tours, Family Days, Saturday Story Time, Schools Out/Arts In vacation day programs, and art classes for children ages three through twelve. The Museum’s innovative Arte Juntos/Art Together program for new immigrant families has been recognized as a model program by the federal government.
The KMA mounts multiple exhibitions every year in its main galleries, Sculpture Garden, and Learning Center. Influential modernist architect Edward Larrabee Barnes designed the 10,000 square-foot building.