Located in the Catskill Mountains of New York, along the scenic Delaware River Valley, the Ruffed Grouse Gallery is unique to the region in that it presents high-quality, thought-provoking Folk, Self-Taught, and Contemporary Art.
The Ruffed Grouse showcases established as well as less-recognized or previously unknown Self-Taught and Contemporary artists working in a variety of two-dimensional media and sculpture. Visitors of all backgrounds and artistic knowledge are welcome to enjoy the artwork and take part in the ongoing conversation.
Amanda Miehle (b. 2006)
Amanda Miehle is a 17-year-old untrained artist who has created an extensive amount of artwork for her young age. Miehle began creating at age 4 with her first drawings of figures in what has become her signature “A” style. As her figures evolved stylistically through the years, she retained the simplicity of the “A” form, and began to refer to these as her “fashion.” In 2017, along with her “A” fashion girls, Miehle expanded her work to include abstractions. To date, Miehle has created well over 2000 works of art, consisting mainly of her fashion girls and abstractions. Miehle says she creates her artwork to express her fashion and make everybody happy. Her unique work clearly reflects this joy. Her work has appeared in BrutJournal, and is currently receiving wider attention in the Outsider art world.
Mose Tolliver (1918/20 - 2006)
In the late 1960s, Mose Tolliver was forced to retire from his job in a Montgomery, Alabama, furniture factory after a thousand-pound crate of marble fell from a forklift and crushed his legs. His former employer encouraged him to start painting, and Tolliver began to create images with house paint on pieces of plywood, Masonite, or old furniture. Unable to stand without crutches, he used to sit on his bed to paint, balancing the board on his knees. Recognition came in the 1980s with a solo show at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and a folk art exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery, in Washington, D.C. Tolliver is known for his vibrant images of women, fantasy animals, and religious subjects, and he could paint up to ten pictures in one day. (Smithsonian American Art Museum)
Tolliver has become one of the most highly regarded American self-taught artists and the works featured in the Outsider Art Fair are historically important as nearly all were executed between 1970 and 1978.
Georgia Speller (1931 - 1988)
Georgia Speller was an African American artist known for her colorful, dynamic drawings and paintings on paper. Speller grew up the daughter of a blacksmith in Aberdeen, Mississippi. She learned to draw at a young age, but did not hone her craft until she was encouraged to do so by her husband, artist Henry Speller.
Most of Speller's oeuvre comprises orgiastic, ecstatic scenes of revelry in nature. These orgies often show the Moon and Sun simultaneously in the sky, which has been interpreted as implying a duration, not an instant. Women are depicted as mutually benefiting or dominant intimate partners. Art historian Xenia Zed saw in Speller's work "the revisionist feminist of the nineties; the sexual exhibitionists of the sixties and seventies; the romantic/erotic/pornographic gaze; the symbolic that can range from thoughts on African retention to psychoanalysis." Works by Speller are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the High Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the National Gallery of Art.
Max Thorek (1880 - 1960)
Max Thorek was born in Hungary where his father was a physician in a small town. Thorek’s preparation for university training began in Budapest but was interrupted when his younger brother was killed in a pogrom and the family emigrated to Chicago, where he attended the University of Chicago. He completed his medical degree at Rush Medical College in 1904. Thorek later worked in obstetrics, general, and reconstructive surgery. In 1954, he founded the International Museum of Surgical Science in a Chicago Gold Coast mansion, and was the founder of Thorek Memorial Hospital, in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. He became an internationally acclaimed amateur photographer during the pictorialist movement, and author of several books on the subject, including Camera Art as a Means of Self-Expression (1947) and Creative Camera Art (1937).
Little is known about the mysterious wood carvings found in an attic in Liberty, New York in the 1990s. Most likely made in the 1970s, it appears as though the artist referenced individuals from life for some works, and for others, may have sourced imagery from print publications. The relief carving, impasto paint application, and integrated framing represent the determined expression of what was meaningful to this artist, and result in a highly unique sensibility within the self-taught genre. These works are now on view for the first time by The Ruffed Grouse Gallery.
The Ruffed Grouse Gallery
144 Main St. Narrowsburg, NY 12764