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This Californian artist, who died in 2010, had a degree in chemical engineering. Fascinated by meditation and metaphysics, he sought to unravel the mysteries of existence through formulas and numbers drawn from his own history. This “conceptual brut” artist sometimes photocopied his work to distribute it to as many people as possible. In 2014, Daniel Baumann introduced him to the 548 Center in New York. The following year, we entrusted Gael Charbau with writing an essay and curing the monographic exhibition held at the gallery. In the same year, Alfred Pacquement, former director of Pompidou, presented a John Urho Kemp installation at the Musée des Beaux-arts in Paris.

john uro kemp - © anonyme, christian berst — art brut
Date 1942 — 2010
Pays United States

John Urho Kemp (1942-2010) graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1965 with a degree in chemical engineering and biochemistry.  He worked as a chemical engineer for almost two years, then quit to study Scientology in England and Los Angeles until 1971.  He spent the next decade running an antique store in Los Angeles.  Amongst other interests, he traveled the world to witness solar eclipses and frequented hot springs of Northern California. Throughout his life he sought revelations through meditation, metaphysics, formulas, and numbers, recorded primarily in pencil and pen on the blank surfaces of scrap papers.

Much of his work was refined and compiled into compact documents that were then photocopied and leafletted as a means of sharing his findings with as many people as he could.  An online archive of his work is underway, and includes poems, equations, drawings, and collages from 1979-2010.

We owe the rescue and archiving of his numerous works to his friend, the photographer Aram Muksian, namely thousands of pages, diagrams, sketches and numerical sequences, to the point of colonizing endless bundles of dot-matrix printer paper.
Daniel Baumann – curator, art critic and current director of the Kunsthalle of Zürich as well as of the Wölfli Foundation in Berne – dedicated an exhibit to him at the 548 Center in NY in 2014.

Œuvres
Pour découvrir les œuvres disponibles, merci de nous contacter.
sans titre (The Word) - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre (The Word), 1999
21.7 x 27.9 cm
sans titre, recto-verso (jesus christs pitaka + formula) - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, recto-verso (jesus christs pitaka + formula), 1998
21.7 x 27.9 cm
sans titre (e=), 8 pages - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre (e=), 8 pages, 1986
173.6 x 27.9 cm
sans titre (the mark of the beast) - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre (the mark of the beast), 1999
27.9 x 21.7 cm
sans titre (The Pentameron) - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre (The Pentameron), 2000
19 x 8 cm
sans titre (the miracle weight) - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre (the miracle weight), 1999
27.9 x 21.7 cm
sans titre, recto-verso - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, recto-verso, 2005
27.9 x 21.5 cm
sans titre, 2 pages (Death and hell) - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, 2 pages (Death and hell), 2007
43.4 x 27.9 cm
sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, 2007
27.9 x 21.7 cm
Expositions
Ojo electrico
Casa Encendida, Madrid. Le 24 septembre 2019.
beyond
on the edge of the visible and the invisible, at the gallery. Du 7 mars au 13 avril 2019.
do the write thing 2
read between the lines, at the gallery. Du 26 avril au 2 juin 2018.
drawing now 2018
Carreau du Temple. Du 22 au 25 mars 2018.
The Museum of everything
Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania. Du 17 juin 2017 au 2 avril 2018.
Voir plus
in abstracto
at the gallery. Du 8 juin au 15 juillet 2017.
Art Brut
A Story of Individual Mythologies , Treger Saint Silvestre Collection, Portugal . Du 1 janvier au 26 février 2017.
Brut Now
art brut in the technological era, Belfort Museums . Du 29 octobre 2016 au 16 janvier 2017.
Cracking The Code
Appleton Square, Lisbonne. Du 7 octobre au 3 novembre 2016.
YIA
art fair, Espace Louise 186, Bruxelles. Du 21 au 24 avril 2016.
On The Wire
by Jean-Hubert Martin, at the gallery. Du 9 avril au 22 mai 2016.
PreTENse
at the Gallery. Du 12 septembre au 10 octobre 2015.
John Urho Kemp
a Bermuda Triangle, at the gallery. Du 30 mai au 18 juillet 2015.
CHOICES
2015, Palais des Beaux Arts, Paris . Du 29 au 31 mai 2015.
vue de l'exposition *au delà : aux confins du visible et de l'invisible*, christian berst art brut, paris, 2019. - © christian berst art brut, photo: elena groud, christian berst — art brut
vue de l'exposition *do the write thing 2: read between the lines*, christian berst art brut, paris, 2018. - © christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Vue de l'exposition *John Urho Kemp : un triangle des Bermudes*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2015. - © christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Revue de presse
à l’avant-garde : john urho kemp – sans titre – 2002
Delphine Neimon, The Artchemists. Le 6 juin 2017.
de l’art brut art high-tech
Stéphanie Lemoine, L’oeil. Le 10 janvier 2017.
Une œuvre d’art a-t-elle toujours un sens ?
Philippe Godin, Diagonale De L’art - Blog Libération. Le 18 juin 2015.
John Urho Kemp – Un triangle des Bermudes
Benedicte Phillipe, Telerama Sortir. Le 10 juin 2015.
Abracadabrantesque
Alain Berland, Mouvement.net. Le 2 juin 2015.
Voir plus
Les Jeudis Arty, la nocturne d’art contemporain revient dans le Marais le 4 juin
Tania Brimson, Timeout. Le 1 juin 2015.
CHOICES PARIS 2015
Guillaume Benoît, Slash. Le 29 mai 2015.
Collections
Antoine de Galbert collection
France
collection Laurent Dumas
France
abcd collection
France
Treger Saint Silvestre collection
Portugal
Vidéo
Mathématiques Métaphysique Art
Langue Français
John Urho Kemp

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