Eddie Arning, ‘Woman Walking Uphill’, ca. 1970, Rago


Self-taught, inspired by magazine illustrations, Eddie Arning’s work is boldly colored, geometric and narrative in style. Raised in a German speaking community in Texas, Arning had a history of mental illness and spent three decades in a series of institutions where his drawing was often encouraged. He was a prolific artist until 1973, when, forced to leave his favorite facility for “bad conduct”, he stopped drawing. Although not as widely known as some other Outsider artists, Arning is an important name within the field and is included in the foremost folk art collections. --Courtesy of Rago Auctions

Hill Gallery, Michigan

About Eddie Arning

Texas-born Eddie Arning’s drawings of agrarian life and popular iconography constitute a singular contribution to the canon of American outsider art. Arning began drawing as a therapeutic process during his stay in a mental facility, working with Crayola crayons and drawing rudimentary compositions of flat planes and simple figures. He quickly developed as an artist, moving from crayons to oil pastels and embracing complicated and chromatic compositions. Arning’s subject matter expanded to include references to his rural upbringing and popular advertising figures such as Colonel Sanders, continuing a tradition of artists producing Americana imagery. Although Arning had a prolific output in the 1960s, he stopped producing art upon leaving the mental institution in the 1970s.

American, 1898-1993