Visionary art

Visionary art

Visionary art is art that purports to transcend the physical world and portray a wider vision of awareness including spiritual or mystical themes, or is based in such experiences.

Both trained and self-taught (or outsider) artists have, and continue to create visionary works. Many visionary artists are actively engaged in spiritual practices, and some have drawn inspiration from psychedelic experiences.

Walter Schurian, professor at the University of Munster, is quick to point out the difficulties in describing visionary art as if it were a discrete genre, since "it is difficult to know where to start and where to stop. Recognized trends have all had their fantastic component, so demarcation is apt to be fuzzy." Despite this ambiguity, there does seem to be emerging some definition to what constitutes the contemporary visionary art 'scene' and which artists can be considered especially influential. Contemporary visionary artists count Hieronymous Bosch, William Blake, Morris Graves (of the Pacific Northwest School of Visionary Art), Emil Bisttram, and Gustave Moreau amongst their antecedents. Symbolism, Surrealism and Psychedelic art are also direct precursors to contemporary visionary art.

The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism, which includes Ernst Fuchs and Arik Brauer, is also to be considered an important technical and philosophical catalyst in its strong influence upon the contemporary visionary culture. It may also be considered the European version, with the names being interchangeable. A number of the visionary artists have trained under teachers from the Vienna school; Mati Klarwein, Robert Venosa, Laurence Caruana, A. Andrew Gonzalez and Philip Rubinov-Jacobson. They have in turn brought the these teachings to North America.

Important networks and organisations

On the internet, the Society for the Art of Imagination, founded by Brigid Marlin serves as an important portal for visionary art events.

Laurence Caruana's Paris-based The Visionary Revue brings attention to lesser-known visionary artists and analyses aspects of visionary art from an erudite scholarly perspective.

, established in 1999 by artist and author Daniel Mirante features a new interview and expose every few weeks with established and up-and-coming visionary artists.

The Surreal Visionary Art Forum, established by Jon Beinart also provides a networking tool for those interested in the contemporary movement. Jon also founded the beInart International Surreal Art Collective which exhibits visionary artists in context of the movement.

More recently, a new wave of visionary artists collaborate under the umbrella of Elfintome and Lightscience which function as modern cooperatives involved in self-publishing and promotion of visionary artists through the internet and via festivals such as Burning Man and Boom Festival, and exhibition/ritual spaces such as Synergenesis and the Interdimensional Art Movement.

Old master visionary artists

*William Blake
*Hieronymus Bosch
*Salvador Dalí
*Max Ernst
*Gustave Moreau
*Remedios Varo
*Frida Kahlo
*Edward Burne Jones
*Morris Graves
*Samuel Palmer

Visionary artists

*Pablo Amaringo
*David Em
*Ernst Fuchs
*H.R. Giger
*A. Andrew Gonzalez
*Alex Grey
*Rudolf Hausner
*Mati Klarwein
*Paul Laffoley
*Brigid Marlin
*Elle Nicolai
*Michael Pearce
*Antonio Roybal
*Mark Ryden
*Amanda Sage
*De Es Schwertberger
*Bunleua Sulilat
*Laurence Caruana
*Anne Sudworth
*Robert Venosa
*Oleg A. Korolev


* 2007 - "Metamorphosis" (beinArt) ISBN 978-0-9803231-0-8
* 2006 - "True Visions" (Erik Davis and Pablo Echaurren) (Betty Books) ISBN 88-902372-0-1
* 2005 - "Fantastic Art" (Taschen) ( Schurian, Prof. Dr. Walter) ISBN 978-3-8228-2954-7 (English edition)
* 1979 - "Celestial Visitations The Art of Gilbert Williams" (Pomegranate Artbooks) ISBN 0-517539-00-4
* 1975 - "Cosmic Art" Ramond & Lila Piper (Hawthorne Books) ISBN 0-8015-1774-5

Related genres

*The Symbolist and Decadent art movement
*Outsider art
*Psychedelic art
*Fantastic art
*Transcendental Painting Group


* "Celestial Visitations The Art of Gilbert Williams" (Pomegranate Artbooks) ISBN 0-517539-00-4, 1979
* Carlo McCormick " Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey", Inner Traditions International, 1990
* Joseph Nechvatal [ William Blakeand Visionary Art]
* Metamorphosis: 50 Contemporary Surreal, Fantastic and Visionary Artists (beinArt) ISBN 978-0-9803231-0-8
* John Maizels,"Raw Creation: Outsider Art and Beyond" (1996). ISBN 0714831492
* Elka Spoerri, Daniel Baumann and E. M. Gomez, "The Art of Adolf Wolfli" (2003). ISBN 0691114986
* Geiger, John (2005). Nothing Is True - Everything Is Permitted: The Life of Brion Gysin. The Disinformation Company, 130. ISBN 19328571251.
* "Fantastic Art" (Taschen) ( Schurian, Prof. Dr. Walter) ISBN 978-3-8228-2954-7 (English edition), 2005
* "Metamorphosis" (beinArt) ISBN 978-0-9803231-0-8, 2007
* "Cosmic Art" Ramond & Lila Piper (Hawthorne Books) ISBN 0-8015-1774-5, 1975

External links

*Essays and articles
** [ "The Path of Visions" by Max Magnus Norman]
** [ "What is Visionary Art?" by Alex Grey]
** [ "What is Visionary Art?" by the American Visionary Art Museum]
** [ A Manifesto of Visionary Art]
** [ Daniel Mirante and Maura Holden discuss visionary art]
** [ "Nectarian Art" - Daniel Mirante discriminates a subgenre of visionary art]
** [ Visionary Art Essay by Maura Holden]
** [ "William Blake and Visionary Art" by Joseph Nechvatal]

*Museums and galleries
** [ Lila : Contemporary Visionary art and Medicine Culture]
** [ pod collective : online visionary art community and gallery]
** [ Society for Art of Imagination]
** [ Iasos Visionary Artists Gallery]
** []
** [ American Visionary Art Museum] in Baltimore

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