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After a troubled childhood and a turbulent adolescence, August Walla was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was finally admitted - along with his mother - to the Gugging hospital, near Vienna, in 1970. Resident of the Haus der Künstler (house of artists), he will remain there for the rest of his life. Expressing himself through photography, installation, diversion of objects and typing of manifestos, writing and drawing have become inseparable in his work. A key figure in art brut, collected by David Bowie, Walla is present in a number of collections around the world, including those of the MoMa (New York) or the Milwaukee Art Museum (Wisconsin).

august walla - © mario del curto, christian berst — art brut
Date 1936 — 2001
Country Austria

Born in Klosterneuberg in Lower Austria, August Walla remained an only son and had a very tight bond with his mother, who raised him as if her were a girl, hoping thus to spare him being enlisted in the army. He imagined for a long time that Hitler was his father, not having known his own, who died during his early childhood. Incapable of adapting to school, he was placed in a specialized institution. At the age of nine, after having lived through the traumatizing experience of losing sleep for three months, he wrote in his school notebooks: “Everything that is red is diabolical.”

The punching bag of his classmates, he remained helpless, regretting he was not a girl. At age 16, after having threatened to commit suicide and to burn down his house, he was committed for four years to a psychiatric hospital where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Upon his departure, his mother dedicated herself entirely to him. But in 1970, August was again admitted to the psychiatric ward, in the Gugging hospital, near Vienna. Sixteen years later, he became one of the members of the House of Artists (Haus der Künstler), created a few years earlier by Doctor Navratil outside the hospital, and where he would remain until the end of his life.

Like Wölfli, Walla filled pages with writing and when the sheet of paper turned out to be too narrow, he covered the walls of his room with drawings and inscriptions. Sometimes, he even painted on trees or on roads, only to then photograph his messages with a camera he had painted green because he hated black. Walla constantly invented imaginary languages inspired by his readings of foreign language dictionaries. Writing and drawing are inseparable in his work, covered in obsessive symbols and which develops as a continuum, of which each part seems inseparable from the ensemble.

For almost 25 years, August Walla has been considered a “classic” of art brut and, as such, appears in the most important public and private collections.
 

Artworks
Please contact us to inquire about the available works.
untitled (1 TÜRE.?) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (1 TÜRE.?), 2001
3.94 x 5.91 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 2001
24.41 x 16.93 in
untitled (LÖFFL) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (LÖFFL), 2001
3.94 x 5.91 in
untitled ((Russlochteich) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled ((Russlochteich), 1960
2.76 x 3.94 in
untitled (Bemalter Baum) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Bemalter Baum), 1970
2.76 x 3.94 in
untitled (Graffiti) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Graffiti), 1960
2.76 x 3.94 in
untitled (Kommunistische…) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Kommunistische…), 1986
7.87 x 11.02 in
untitled (Christlichs, Gebet ja.?) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Christlichs, Gebet ja.?), 1986
8.27 x 11.42 in
untitled (Ewigkeltendepolizistn…) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Ewigkeltendepolizistn…), 1985
7.87 x 11.02 in
Exhibitions
Scrivere Disegnando
when the language seeks its other, Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève . From January 29 to August 23, 2020.
The Dagmar and Manfred Chobot Collection
a donation to the Albertina Museum, Albertina Museum, Vienna. From December 13, 2019 to February 23, 2020.
Photo Brut
coll. Bruno Decharme & cie, Rencontre d'Arles. From July 1 to September 22, 2019.
Flora & Fauna brut
Gugging Gallery. From May 15 to August 30, 2019.
Travel memories
Antoine de Galbert collection, musée de Grenoble. From April 27 to July 28, 2019.
View more
do the write thing 2
read between the lines, at the gallery. From April 26 to June 2, 2018.
heterotopias
architectural dwellings, at the gallery. From December 9, 2017 to January 20, 2018.
3rd Biennale de l’Art Brut
Bodies, Lausanne, Suisse . From November 17, 2017 to April 29, 2018.
Living in art brut
123 works from the Hannah Rieger Collection, Musuem Krems an der Donau. From September 8 to October 26, 2017.
gugging !
the crazed in the hot zone, at the gallery. From September 2 to October 21, 2017.
The Museum of everything
Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania. From June 17, 2017 to April 2, 2018.
Drawing Now 2017
Le Carreau du Temple, Paris. From March 23 to 26, 2017.
Art Brut
A Story of Individual Mythologies , Treger Saint Silvestre Collection, Portugal . From January 1 to February 26, 2017.
Fotografie
Lejo & Walla, Gugging Galerie, Vienna. From September 29 to November 23, 2016.
YIA
art fair, Espace Louise 186, Bruxelles. From April 21 to 24, 2016.
On The Wire
by Jean-Hubert Martin, at the gallery. From April 9 to May 22, 2016.
The Museum Of Everything
Kunsthal, Rotterdam. From March 5 to May 22, 2016.
PreTENse
at the Gallery. From September 12 to October 10, 2015.
August Walla
Ecce Walla, at the gallery. From April 18 to May 23, 2015.
Art brut live
DOX centre for contemporary art, Praha. From March 27 to August 17, 2015.
Collecting Madness
Outsider Art from the Damman Collection Volume #2, Prinzhorn Collection, Allemagne . From March 14 to April 14, 2014.
Raw Vision
25 years of art brut, Halle Saint Pierre, Paris . From September 18, 2013 to August 22, 2014.
Walla!
weltallende, Gugging Museum, Vienna. From March 29 to October 29, 2012.
Accidental Genius
art from the Anthony Petullo Collection, Milwaukee, USA. From February 10 to May 6, 2012.
World transformers
the art of outsiders, Schirn Kunsthalle . From September 24, 2010 to January 9, 2011.
Gugging
A home for Art Brut, at the gallery. From April 7 to May 27, 2006.
Inner Worlds Outside
Fundacion La Caixa, Madrid ; Whitechapel gallery, London ; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. From January 18 to December 30, 2006.
Ecriture en délire
Collection de l'art brut Lausanne. From February 12 to September 26, 2004.
Écritures en délire
Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne. From February 12 to September 26, 2004.
Parallel visions: modern artists and outsider art
Los Angeles county museum of art. From October 18, 1992 to January 3, 1993.
Exhibition view of *August Walla : Ecce Walla*, christian berst art brut, paris, 2015. - © christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
exhibition view of *scrivere disegnando : when language seeks its over*, contemporary art center, genova, switzerland, 2020. - © contemporary art center, genova, christian berst — art brut
Press review
scrivere disegnando. Quand la langue cherche son autre.
Claire Margat, Artpress. May 22, 2020.
graphomanies brutes
Claire Margat, Art Press. December 7, 2018.
bouge la ligne !
Philippe Godin, La Diagonale De L’art. May 9, 2018.
l’envolée de l’art brut
éric Tariant, Le Temps. November 13, 2017.
gugging !
Aurélie Romanacce, L’oeil. September 29, 2017.
View more
A arte não se deita na cama que lhe preparam
Ágata Xavier, Sabado. June 20, 2016.
champagne and art at christian berst galerie in Paris
Shari, What We Adore. May 27, 2015.
Galerie Christian Berst presents the work of Austrian outsider artist August Walla
Artdaily.org. April 20, 2015.
August Walla : ecce Walla
La Rédaction, Le Vadrouilleur Urbain. April 16, 2015.
August Walla : ecce Walla
Clarisse Treilles, Actu Photo. April 16, 2015.
Annonce de l'exposition : Gugging, un foyer pour l'art brut
Animula Vagula. April 5, 2006.
Collections
The Museum of Modern Art
United States
LaM, musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut de Lille Métropole
France
Antoine de Galbert collection
France
Gugging Museum
Austria
collection de l’Art brut
Switzerland
View more
abcd / Bruno Decharme collection
France
Treger Saint Silvestre collection
Portugal
Carmen and Daniel Klein collection
Switzerland
Hannah Rieger collection
Austria
Arnulf Rainer collection
Austria
Antoine Frérot collection
France
Hervé Lancelin collection
Luxembourg
The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Milwaukee Art Museum
United States
Anthony Petullo Collection
United States
Dammann collection
Switzerland
Video
Gugging the crazed in the hot zone
Language English
August Walla

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