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Rain was forecast for Monday so I looked for an indoor activity. Most museums were closed, either because they always close on Monday or because it was a jour férié (the Day After Pentecost). I decided to see two exhibitions of outsider art (art brut) at Halle Saint-Pierre, in part to avoid taking yet another exhibition off the shared-interest list with Eugène.

The scene when I emerged from the métro at Anvers was hideous: mobs of Sacré-Coeur tourists (and people who prey on tourists) crushing in from all sides. I had never been to Halle Saint-Pierre but it seemed to be in a dreadful location, just a block off the main tourist track. But it proved instead to be a haven of French hipsterdom.

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The museum had two exhibitions, both on through August 2. The first was a retrospective of outsider art from Chicago over the past seventy-five years and the second was called “Hey #4, Modern Art and Pop Culture”. I approached the Chicago exhibition with skepticism, and came away with the somewhat condescending perspective that this is the art that America deserves in the Age of Trump.

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A collection of works by various outsider artists from the former Maxwell Street Market. Perfect for the Age of Trump!

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By Charles Smith, about 1990

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Trumpesque Throne, by Mr. Imagination (Gregory Warmack)

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By Lee Godie

The second exhibition, however, caught me by surprise. Hey #4 offered a wide variety of works, characterized by vividness, audacity and creativity. While popular, to be sure, much of this work was in no obvious way inferior to the art in a contemporary gallery or museum. Here are some glimpses:

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Center: By The Kid, Rise and Rise Again Until Lambs Become Lions, 2016

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Gerard Mas, Antroporci, 2008

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Masayoshi Hanawa, 2015/18

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Nils Bertho, Yoaki Arena, 2018

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Fulvio Di Piazza, Homecoming, 2017

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Heidi Taillefer, Brewing the Yangtze, 2015

This is only a taste! If you like some or all of these and would like to see a broader selection, please check out my Hey #4 Photo Set.