Visionary art

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American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, USA

Visionary art is art that purports to transcend the physical world and portray a wider vision of awareness including spiritual or mystical themes, or is based in such experiences.[1]


The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism, first established in 1946, is considered to be an important technical and philosophical catalyst in its strong influence upon contemporary visionary art.[2][3] Its artists included Ernst Fuchs, Rudolf Hausner and Arik Brauer among others. Several artists who would later work in visionary art trained under Fuchs, including Mati Klarwein, Robert Venosa[4] and De Es Schwertberger.


Visionary artist Laurence Caruana with visionary art paintings.

Visionary art often carries themes of spiritual, mystical or inner awareness.[1] Despite this broad definition, there does seem to be emerging some definition to what constitutes the contemporary visionary art 'scene' and which artists can be considered especially influential. Symbolism, Surrealism and Psychedelic art are also direct precursors to contemporary visionary art. Contemporary visionary artists count Hieronymous Bosch, William Blake, Morris Graves (of the Pacific Northwest School of Visionary Art), Emil Bisttram, and Gustave Moreau amongst their antecedents.

Schools and organizations[edit]

The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism, which includes Ernst Fuchs and Arik Brauer, is also a strong influence on visionary culture. It may also be considered the European version, with the names being interchangeable.

The Society for the Art of Imagination, founded by Brigid Marlin serves as an important portal for visionary art events. More recently, a new wave of visionary artists collaborate to function as modern cooperatives involved in self-publishing and promotion of visionary artists through the internet and via festivals such as Burning Man and Boom Festival, and exhibition/ritual spaces such as Temple of Visions, Tribe 13, Synergenesis and the Interdimensional Art Movement.






See also[edit]



  • Cosmic Art Ramond & Lila Piper (Hawthorne Books) ISBN 0-8015-1774-5, 1975
  • Celestial Visitations The Art of Gilbert Williams (Pomegranate Artbooks) ISBN 0-517-53900-4, 1979
  • Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey", Carlo McCormick, Inner Traditions International, 1990
  • Raw Creation: Outsider Art and Beyond John Maizels,ISBN 0-7148-3149-2, 1996
  • The Art of Adolf Wolfli Elka Spoerri, Daniel Baumann and E. M. Gomez, ISBN 0-691-11498-6, 2003
  • Nothing Is True - Everything Is Permitted: The Life of Brion Gysin John Geiger, (The Disinformation Company), 130. ISBN 19328571251, 2005
  • Fantastic Art (Taschen) ( Schurian, Prof. Dr. Walter) ISBN 978-3-8228-2954-7 (English edition), 2005
  • True Visions (Erik Davis and Pablo Echaurren) (Betty Books) ISBN 88-902372-0-1, 2006
  • Metamorphosis: 50 Contemporary Surreal, Fantastic and Visionary Artists (beinArt) ISBN 978-0-9803231-0-8, 2007


External links[edit]