Outsider Inspirations: The Influence of Art Environments on Isaiah Zagar

On View: July 13, 2018 – August 26, 2018

Isaiah Zagar is an award-winning mosaic mural artist whose work can be seen over 200 public walls throughout Philadelphia. His art documents a myriad of personal experiences through the decades, and pays tribute to the artists that have created similar art environments. In Summer 2018, PMG will exhibit a series of pieces by Zagar that highlight these artists and their work, and how their practice helped shape Zagar into the artist he is today.

Artists that create environments like PMG are often untrained and use mainly non-traditional materials. This type of art usually expresses the artist’s intensely personal vision or belief. Art environments can be extensive, large-scale artistic installations that are commonly in the form of buildings, homes, or sculpture parks.

When Zagar was nineteen years old, he discovered the art installations of Clarence Schmidt in Woodstock, New York. His home was built with mirror, bicycle wheels, dolls, and other found objects, and Zagar still cites that experience and Schmidt as one of his greatest artistic influences. In this exhibition, Zagar will honor Schmidt, along with Simon Rodia’s mosaicked towers, Joseph Ferdinand Cheval’s pebble-encrusted palace, and many others though paintings, etching prints, collage works, and photographs of Zagar’s visits to their sites. This collection, along with Zagar’s personal stories, will paint a picture of how incredible these immersive works of art are and how important they were to the conception and building of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.