Founded in 1979 by Frank Maresca and Roger Ricco, Ricco/Maresca Gallery specializes in Outsider, self-taught, and folk art. For its inaugural presentation at Independent, the gallery will pair the work of two artists working outside of the mainstream, who each created highly stylized, captivating bodies of work: Martín Ramírez (1895-1963) and Leopold Strobl (b. 1960).
Born in Mexico, Ramírez illegally crossed the border into California in 1925; eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia, he spent the rest of his life in a psychiatric institution, where he discovered art. Austrian artist Strobl has been a part of the Open Studio program at the Gugging House of Artists in Vienna, a preeminent workshop for the creation of “art brut” in Europe, for over a decade. The gallery’s presentation at Independent will feature a selection of landscapes on paper by each artist that highlights their distinctive approaches to similar subject matter. We spoke with Maresca about the complex history of “Outsider art” and its path to institutional recognition.