Four years after her inaugural showing in Williamsburg, and on the tail of her fifth birthday, Tillamook Cheddar returns to her old stomping grounds for an exhibition of new works at Green Gallery.
Art Brut is the first major showing of Tillamook Cheddar’s work since the 2002 Collarobations exhibition at The National Arts Club. In Art Brut, the artist returns to her self-taught color-transfer technique—with a twist. For the first time, Tillie is working with a full palette.
Assistants have replaced color carbon paper used in her early works with specially prepared vellum paper that allows the artist to create her marks in oil paint on lithograph paper. The new “canvas” is sensitive enough to record the artist’s subtle tongue and paw impressions, complementing her signature tooth and claw.
In 1940 Jean Dubuffet coined the term Art Brut to refer to the art of the insane. He noted that these artists drew entirely on their own resources, rather than on the stereotypes of classical or fashionable art. Tillamook Cheddar, though far from insane, exemplifies Art Brut in a way Dubuffet could only have dreamed.
This artist has been denied access to museums, even while her work was hanging on their walls. She has no regard for books or fashion. Beyond her collaborations with other artists, she expresses little interest in any art other than her own.
Art Brut presents eight of Tillamook Cheddar’s most compelling recent canvases, along with portraits of the artist by photographer Dirk Westphal, her longtime friend and collaborator.