About Art Brut & Outsider Art

 

“In the art brut, we are witnessing the artistic operation all pure, raw, reinvented in all its phases by its author, from only his own impulses.»

 

Jean Dubuffet

 

Art brut is the term by which the painter Jean Dubuffet refers originally to the productions of people without artistic culture. He has grouped some of these productions into a collection, the Collection of Art Brut in Lausanne. In November 1943, the poet Paul Éluard, who has close ties with many artists, took refuge in the psychiatric hospital of Saint-Alban, led by Dr. Lucien Bonnafé (close to the Surrealists) and discovered the works of patients, which he brings back to Paris, notably those of Auguste Forestier, who makes small statues with bits of string, wood or metal, and which Éluard makes known to Picasso, Raymond Queneau, Jean Dubuffet. In this hospital, now considered the cradle of institutional psychotherapy, the creations of some patients were already preserved since 1914 and have subsequently joined the largest collections of art brut. Dubuffet still visits other psychiatric hospitals and prisons, meets writers, artists, publishers as well as museum curators and doctors. Dubuffet often redefined art brut, seeking at first to distinguish it from popular art, naive art, children’s drawings, and then creating the “Neuve Invention” in his collection, to which he also integrates the singular art genre where “landscape dwellers” and “naive” mingle, gathered in an exhibition in 1978 at the Museum of Modern Art in the city of Paris The art outsider is originally the counterpart of Anglo-Saxon Art Brut, but the expression, far from being a simple translation, reflects a historical reality of creators, market, places and networks which are peculiar to this art. It has its own specificities and history, developed in the 1990s through books, exhibitions, magazines (Raw Vision).

 

The exhibition Outsider Art, curated by the Josephine Clavel gallery, develops a diachronic interpretation of these works, allowing the audience to embrace a view of the origins of the movements of Art Brut from its origins to the present day. The works of Jaber, discovered by Dubuffet, refer to the immediacy of the early days of Art Brut, its bursting into the artistic landscape of the time. While the works of contemporary artists Adlane Samet and Klaas Vanderperren, though strongly influenced by the classic visual idiosyncrasy of the works of Art Brut, eventually escape through experimentation and develop a postmodern interpretation of the Outsider Art.