Mark Francis: Sculptures from the Inside Provides Frightening yet Captivating Look into an Outsider Artist's Prison Experience

Mark Francis (American, b. 1960), Prison Blues, 2011. Papier-mâché and other media. Collection of the Kentucky Folk Art Center

Mark Francis (American, b. 1960), Prison Blues, 2011. Papier-mâché and other media. Collection of the Kentucky Folk Art Center

CHICAGO, IL--Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art announces the opening of Mark Francis: Sculptures from the Inside, an exhibition in its on-site pop-up space, Thursday, August 3.

Over more than 25 years of incarceration (1986-2014) for a murder conviction, Marvin (Mark) Francis taught himself to create fantastical papier-mâché sculptures of dramatic scenes and visions from inside prison. Using limited materials available--including toilet paper, crushed ramen noodles, nail clippers, paper clips and, eventually, mail-order wooden dowel rods--he depicted the social, emotional and psychological impacts of his life behind bars.

Mark Francis: Sculptures from the Inside examines a range of emotions and experiences from his time in Kentucky state penitentiaries over more than two and half decades through eight sculptures, including the centerpiece, Prison Blues (2011), featuring a block of six jail cells occupied by inmates in a variety of provoking and unsettling states and activities.

A victim of child abuse, Francis has expressed that art has helped his healing process, and he, therefore, donates the majority of proceeds from artwork sales to programs that help break the cycle of all types of child abuse. Today, Francis lives and works in central Tennessee.

Mark Francis: Sculptures from the Inside opens Thursday, August 3, and is on view through Sunday, October 8, 2017. The exhibit opening reception will take place 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Special thanks to the Kentucky Folk Art Center at Morehead State University for its generous loans of Mark Francis artworks from its permanent collection.

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ABOUT INTUIT

Established in 1991, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art is one of the premier museums of outsider and self-taught art in the world, offering exhibitions; resources for scholars and students; a permanent collection of more than 1,200 works of art; the Henry Darger Room Collection; the Robert A. Roth Study Center, a non-circulating collection with a primary focus in the fields of outsider and contemporary self-taught art; and educational programming for people of all interest levels and backgrounds.

Intuit is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.; and Monday school holidays. More information at www.art.org.

For more information and downloadable logos, please contact Maureen Jasculca, maureen@art.org