Recent Outsider Art

The Outsider Art Museum is the only museum in the Netherlands that shows leading art works by national and international Outsider Artists. Experience the extraordinary art made by individuals who, for the most part, are not formally trained as artists. Their work is authentic, unconventional and goes against the grain.


Art Brut | Jean Dubuffet’s revolution in art

The exhibition ‘Art Brut | Jean Dubuffet’s revolution in art’ shows over 150 works, with which artist and collector Jean Dubuffet shocked the Paris cultural establishment in 1949. Seventy years later, these works are coming to the Netherlands for the first time.

Immediately after the Second World War the artist and collector Jean Dubuffet embarked on his search for new, pure and spontaneous works of art, remote from the established order. On his journey he visited psychiatric institutions and prisons, created a networks of intellectuals, poets, painters and collectors. During his various encounters he collected works which in his opinion were the proof that this art form, the one produced by people with no specific education to art, deserved a place in the art world. Established assumptions, academic views and standards must be cast aside in favour of a new, pure and spontaneous art.

This exhibition provides a reconstruction of the basic ideas of Art Brut, with reference to the works assembled by Dubuffet. Why did he purchase some works but not others? Which criteria did he use when collection work, and what information did he collect? And what became of the artists whose work he collected for his Compagnie de l’Art Brut?

Art Brut | Jean Dubuffet’s revolution in art includes works by great figures such as Aloïse Corbaz, Fleury-Joseph Crépin, Gaston Duf, Auguste Forestier and Adolf Wölfli.

The exhibition is on show from Thursday 31 January to Sunday 25 August 2019.


Willem van Genk (1927-2005)

Willem van Genk (1927-2005) is an artist who appeals to the imagination. He first made drawings in pen and ink and later collages in oil that he called “placards.” From the 1980s onwards, this was complemented with the creation of trolley buses made of waste material from which he built a trolley bus station, and finally with drawings in four ballpoint pen colors. His altered raincoats form a separate category. He provided them with extra buttons and printers. That gave them a mysterious effect for him. Each coat gave it masculine power for once.

His subjects are: cities, means of transport and transport systems, stations for buses and trains, journeys, political systems, structures, history, and also the exciting situations surrounding murders and executions. In some works his special fascination for hair is visible. You sometimes recognize the style of cartoons, comics and graffiti, but also his very own way of painting and sketching city panoramas and puzzling a flood of details together.

Willem van Genk was both modern and old-fashioned. He depicted both the valuable things that were broken down and stopped, and the new, hopeful developments in the field of infrastructure and the economy. He has sometimes been called a traditional realist, but described himself as “a representative of a young school” who still had to make a name for himself. In his work, he seems to be a traveler, always looking for how social systems function and how he himself could fit into them.

His enormous love for travel, books and classical music, characterize his work and his personality. He once did simple work in a social workplace, but he grew to be the most important Outsider Art artist in the Netherlands.

From mid-September 2019 to mid-March 2020 a large retrospective of Willem van Genk can be seen in the Outsider Art Museum. This exhibition is designed by the Belgium fashiodesioner Walter van Beirendonck. The exhibition then travels on to the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.


ITE Art | Finnish collection Ammann

The Outsider Art Museum presents ‘ITE Art | Finnish collection Ammann’. This unique exhibition shows the private collection of Max Ammann, a leading collector of Outsider Art. It is the first time the collection is shown in the Netherlands. ITE stands for Itse Tehty Elämä, ‘self-made life’ in Finnish. Keeping off the beaten track, and using materials from the Finnish forests, the ITE Art-artists speak their own mysterious language.

‘We collect works that never ceases to fascinate.’

With this exhibition the Outsider Art Museum takes visitors into the world of artists who live solitary lives in the backwoods of Finland. Typical features of their work include fantasy, curiosity, creativity, places of interest and visions. Visitors can get to know the talented world of Finnish Outsider Art: artists outside the established artistic order, whose work is seldom on public display.

Open from 14 June till 13 January 2019

Buy Tickets here


New Masters

In the exhibition New Masters, the Outsider Art Museum introduces 30 intimate portraits of contemporary Outsider artists, together with their work. In a series of touching portraits, photographer Sander Troelstra gives a face to their fascinating world. Troelstra has won the Canon Silver Camera Award on many occasions, and also took the honours at the prestigious Dutch National Portrait Award in 2015.

The striking characteristics of work by these artists – fixed outlines, recording the world around them, velvet textures or hard sculptures – appear to speak a language of their own and often contain a message that to us, is shrouded in mystery. Nevertheless, if we open our minds to the personal perceptions of the creators, it is certainly possible to comprehend their work.

Only a few decades ago, it would have been impossible for these New Masters to launch successful careers – their work would have remained unseen due to their social isolation and a life behind closed doors. For many years, the art world was hesitant to afford autodidactic artists a place on the art circuit. The arrival of the Outsider Art Museum in 2016 helped to accelerate the necessary change: the museum contributes significantly to the recognition and inclusion of these new talents by and in the international museum world.

Open from 4 October till 28 may 2018


Dubuffet's List

This exhibition offers you the unique opportunity to view the earliest collection of Outsider Art in Europe. Dubuffet’s List breathes new life into a significant historical moment and places Outsider Art in an art historical perspective. Discover the origins of Outsider Art, seen through the eyes of Jean Dubuffet, one of the most prominent artists of the 20th century.

Dubuffet’s List | Masterpieces from the Prinzhorn Collection offers fresh insights into the important and inevitable ‘encounter’ between the ideas of psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn and those of the ‘discoverer of Art Brut’: Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985). Both of these men are the founding fathers of what we nowadays call Outsider Art.

Dubuffet viewed the impressive Prinzhorn Collection as a forerunner of his own ‘Collection de l’Art Brut’, so his visit to Prinzhorn’s collection was a long-cherished dream. One should note that during his visit, Dubuffet viewed the art works from a different perspective than that of his shining example. Prinzhorn considered the works from his academic standpoint, while Dubuffet viewed the unconventional collection as an artist and collector.

‘This research explores the foundations of a key moment in art history, and this was all possible thanks to that one list made by Dubuffet during his now renowned visit to the Prinzhorn Collection’.



The Outsider Art Museum offers you the unique opportunity to compare and admire Outsider Art produced in different countries. A major exhibition of both Chinese and Dutch Outsider Art has never before been on display in the Netherlands. The exhibition features in excess of 200 exceptional works by Chinese and Dutch outsider artists.

Passion, religion and power, but also monsters, dreams and nightmares: the works demonstrate striking similarities, irrespective of their geographical or cultural origins. All around the world, outsider artists are following their inner voice: freed from the path well trodden, the artists transport you into their uncharted, vivid fantasy worlds.



The collection is largely derived from The Dolhuys and focuses on present Outsider Art from upcoming talent. In this first exhibition, over a hundred art works are shown, made by English, French, Iranian and Dutch artists. Alongside the permanent collection, a special area is dedicated to Japanese Outsider Art. One of the most famous Japanese artists is Shinichi Sawada (1982). Sawada exhibited his work at the Venice Biennale in 2013, signaling the breakthrough of Outsider Art into the international art world.