Scoop: New Outsider Art

Charles Steffen’s drawings on display at the Russell Bowman Art Advisory

After suffering a mental breakdown in 1950, Charles Steffen was institutionalized for more than a decade. While in the hospital, he blossomed as an artist, and now, 13 years after his death in 1995, the Chicago outsider is finally getting some much-deserved attention. Already showcased in Paris and New York, a collection of Steffen’s drawings has returned to the Russell Bowman Art Advisory (311 W. Superior St., Suite 115). “Steffen has the potential to be recognized as a major artist based on his formal invention, quality of drawing, and personal expression found in each piece,” says Bowman, who was the first to display the artist’s work after a nephew discovered it. The exhibition, featuring Steffen’s three main subjects—flowers, nudes, and portraits—as well as his drawing board and sketchbook, runs through Jan. 10th. 

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