A Special Touch - Right from the heart

Art Centre Silkeborg Bad, May 5  – August 28, 2016


At this exhibition, we will show select artists who, not in spite of, but rather because of their handicap are capable of making interesting and transboundary art of a high quality. The works of many artists with cognitive disabilities have an immediate and 'primitive' pictorial language that can resemble that of children, but it is still often more advanced. 


In art history one finds several examples that that the so-called normal artists find inspiration in outsider art. When a group of artists formed the Cobra group after WW2, discussions in their circles hovered around a way to move on, when so-called normal and sensible people could create the catastrophic madness that was the war. Therefore, the artists became preoccupied with children's expression, indigenous people's art, historic art, and even the art of the "mad", the so-called L’Art Brut. They became significant sources of the art that is admired and praised today as that era's most important contribution to art history.


A Special touch – Lige fra hjertet is a possibility to get a better understanding that being different is not a negative thing, but can enrich us all. Artists with cognitive disabilities and other citizens in the same situation are often 'hidden away' in homes or institutions in everyday life, and most people have no contact with the creativity in their world. With the exhibition and the catalogue, we hope to contribute to a greater understanding of the fact that being different is not something negative but something that can enrich us all.


Also abroad there are a certain attentiveness to the values of outsider art, and in between there exist very skilled artist. Therefore we are proud to present two contemporary artists from each their side of the world: Andrei Palmer (USA) and Hidenori Motooka (Japan), both participating as guests. 


We would like to thank all the exhibiting cognitively disabled artists for making their works available for the exhibition. We would also like to thank the two guest artists, Andrei Palmer from the USA and Motoori Hidenori from Japan, for making their works available and for their commitment to the exhibition. 


The criterion for the exhibition has – as for any other 'normal' professional exhibition in the official art scene – been the highest artistic quality. Danish artist chosen by selection are: Laila Munkholm Nielsen, Michael Rasmussen, Gitte Madsen, Birgit Neja Jensen, Thomas Larsen, Steffen de la Motte Maahr, Hans Birch Hansen, Kirsten Pagh, Lene Krogsgaard, Judith Damgaard Nielsen, Kenneth Rasmussen and Simone Kjær Munk. Censors were: Professor Bjørn Nørgaard, visual artist Lars Ravn and art historian Iben From. 


Al represented Danish artist are users of one of these four art schools in Denmark: Lysbrokunst in Silkeborg, Snurretoppen in Horsens, Kunstskolen in Copenhagen and Bifrost in Randers. Together, the schools in particular represent a specific and valuable practice-based knowledge on outsider art. An English/Danish texted catalogue is available for more information.





A Special Touch - Right from the Heart