christian berstart brut
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Royal Robertson spent most of his life in Louisiana with his wife and eleven children. A sign painter by training, his paranoid schizophrenia triggers in him a prodigious creative fever. Ethereal ascents, portraits of deities, futuristic architectures alike “show houses” of a world to come, it is as if he had descended from his planet, carrying his own Tablets of Law. Featured in countless international collections, such as the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (USA), his work was presented in 2018-19 in the travelling exhibition Into The Unknown, produced by the Barbican (London) and curated by Patrick Gyger.

royal robertson - © christian berst — art brut
Date 1930 — 1997
Pays United States

“Prophet” Royal Robertson was born in Louisiana in 1936. As a young man, he migrated to the West Coast where he worked alternately in the fields or as a sign painter. He later returned to his homeland of Louisiana to care for his dying mother and to marry Adell in 1955, a woman who would ultimately give him 11 children.

This peaceful, albeit tough, life was gradually devastated by the paranoid schizophrenia from which Royal suffered. His sickly jealousy and delusional outbursts eventually broke apart his family and, as he became more and more lonely, the world became more and more hostile to him.
Royal, a self-anointed prophet without disciples, lived resolutely in a mythical space-time. His existence was chiefly punctuated by the incessant travels back and forth between the intimacy of his home -whose access is bristled with warnings- and the extraterrestrial lands from which he drew his consolation.

Each of his “journeys” seemingly gave rise to a work carried by an eschatological breath. On their surfaces, Royal tracks evidence of his wife’s supposed infidelities as the perpetuation of original sin, combined with other furious condemnations and litanies of unpardonable trespasses. Royal used his skill as a sign painter at the service of a pop gospel, both historical and hysterical, with strident colors and hallucinatory typography. His calendars seem to chronicle a magical version of time, punctuated with biblical verses and accompanied by visions that seem to emerge from comic books in the service of moral authority and clarity.
Ethereal ascents, portraits of deities or “Martian” aristocrats, and futuristic architecture that appear as “model homes” for a world to come, it is as if Royal Robertson, like a Moses of modern times, had come down from his planet bearing stone tablets with commandments of his own. In search of redemption -ours as well as his own- Prophet Royal Robertson died in 1997, five years after Hurricane Andrew destroyed away his home and preaching haven.
Represented in the largest collections in Europe and the United States, Royal Robertson is a major figure in art brut.

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Sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
Sans titre, 1996
56 x 71 cm
sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, 1987
56.3 x 71.4 cm
sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, 1991
56.3 x 71.4 cm
sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, 1993
55.8 x 71 cm
sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, 1990
56.3 x 71.4 cm
sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, 1990
56 x 71.3 cm
sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, 1992
56.2 x 71.2 cm
sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, 1992
55.9 x 71 cm
sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
sans titre, 1991
56 x 71 cm
Prophet Royal Robertson space gospel
Catalogue publié à l'occasion de l'exposition *Prophet Royal Robertson : space gospel*, christian berst art burt, Paris, 2016. - © christian berst — art brut

Préface : Pierre Muylle
Avant-propos : Christian Berst
Publié à l’occasion de l’exposition Prophet Royal Robertson : space gospel, du 27 octobre au 19 novembre 2016.

galeristes #4
au Carreau du Temple. Du 18 au 20 octobre 2019.
visionary architecture
oliva creative factory. Du 14 mai au 15 juin 2019.
aux confins du visible et de l’invisible, à la galerie. Du 7 mars au 13 avril 2019.
ou le rêve de voler, Maison Rouge, Paris. Du 16 juin au 28 octobre 2018.
do the write thing 2
read between the lines, à la galerie. Du 26 avril au 2 juin 2018.
Voir plus
Drawing Now 2018
Carreau du Temple. Du 22 au 25 mars 2018.
architectures habitées, à la galerie. Du 9 décembre 2017 au 20 janvier 2018.
In and out of Africa
Oliva Creative Factory, Portugal. Du 7 octobre 2017 au 7 avril 2018.
The museum of everything
Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania. Du 17 juin 2017 au 2 avril 2018.
Into The Unknown
A Journey Through Science Fiction, Barbican, Londres. Du 3 juin au 1 septembre 2017.
Les lois du nombre d’or
Oliva Creative Factory, Portugal. Du 29 avril au 30 septembre 2017.
Prophet Royal Robertson
Space Gospel, à la galerie. Du 27 octobre au 19 novembre 2016.
Textual Poetry of Art Brut, l'Entrepôt, Monaco. Du 12 juillet au 29 septembre 2016.
Sur le fil
par Jean-Hubert Martin, à la galerie. Du 9 avril au 22 mai 2016.
The Museum Of Everything
Kunsthal, Rotterdam. Du 5 mars au 22 mai 2016.
Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne. Du 13 novembre 2015 au 17 avril 2016.
System and vision
David Zwirner gallery, New York. Du 28 février au 18 avril 2015.
do the write thing
read between the lines, galerie new york. Du 30 octobre au 21 décembre 2014.
american outsiders
the black south, à la galerie. Du 19 juin au 18 juillet 2009.
Les transports de l’art brut, à la galerie. Du 6 juin au 19 juillet 2008.
salon du dessin contemporain
Du 10 au 14 avril 2008.
Vue de l'exposition *Prophet Royal Robertson : space gospel*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2016. - © christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
vue de l'exposition *visionary architecture*, triennale d'architecture de lisbonne, œuvres de la collection treger saint silvestre, oliva creative factory, sao joao da madeira, portugal, 2019. - © oliva creative factory, christian berst — art brut
*sur le fil, par jean-hubert martin*, galeries christian berst art brut & jean brolly, paris, du 9 avril au 22 mai 2016. - © christian berst — art brut
Revue de presse
Vincent Sator et Christian Berst des galeristes peu sages
Marie-Hélène Fabre, Le 26 novembre 2016.
L’art brut mis en avant à la galerie l’Entrepôt
Monaco Info. Le 14 juillet 2016.
Sur le fil
Laurent Boudier Et Bénédicte Philippe, Télérama Sortir. Le 20 avril 2016.
mea culpa + mea felicita
Philippe Ducat, Oh Cet Echo. Le 14 novembre 2012.
American outsiders - The Black South
Télérama Sortir. Le 15 juillet 2009.
High Museum of Art
collection de l’Art brut
American Folk Art Museum
collection Treger Saint Silvestre
Smithsonian Museum Of American Art
Voir plus
African American Museum of Dallas
Art Museum of Southeast Texas
Birmingham Museum of Art
The Louisiana State Museum
Mississippi Museum of Art
New Orleans Museum of Art
Rockford Art Museum
St. Jame Place Folk Art Museum
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Royal robertson space gospel
Langue Français
Royal Robertson

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