‘Art Brut’ or ‘Outsider Art’ fascinates me. Who are the creators whose works mean to us a sort of “artistic purity”? Who draw inspiration only from their own resources. The invention characteristic of their works owes only to their psychological particularities and seems to be driven by a necessity that absorbs them completely.
Since its ‘discovery’ in 1945 by Jean Dubuffet the concept of Art Brut continues to question our aesthetic perceptions, our definitions of art as well as the convictions concerning our identity. I think that is quite revolutionary so I was delighted to be able to see the exhibition currently showing at Halle Saint Pierre in Paris ‘Raw Vision, 25 ans d’art brut‘.
The exhibition celebrates the 25th anniversary of Raw Vision, the London based magazine that was the first publication to focus on Outsider Art, Visionary Art and Contemporary Folk Art long before Outsider Art emerged from obscurity and received the widespread recognition it does today. Works from 80 artists have been gathered from all over the world in a stunning showcase of Outsider Art. And the accompanying catalogue is great too.
Below are some works that intrigued me.
Dalton Ghetti (1961) started to create artworks on the tips of discarded pencils, working on the graphite using a needle and a razor blade after he arrived in the US in 1985 from his native Brazil. He never sells his works, planning to donate them to a museum one day.
George Widener (1962) was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of 25. His detailed technical drawings are complemented by lists of statistics and historical facts, all recalled from memory. He often draws on found pieces of paper such as table napkins.
Scottie Wilson (1888-1972) was captivated by a particular fine fountain pen and he became intensively involved in drawing swirling sinister faces, organic forms and abstract patterns which he filled with ink. He became very successful following his acceptance by London’s surrealists and his work was collected by Picasso and André Breton.
There were many more intriguing works shown in this exhibition so you will definitely read more on Outsider Art in my fieldnotes.