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Interned at 21 years old, after volunteering for the Spanish Civil War during WWII, Carlo Zinelli is now seen as a main figure of art brut. As tales illustrating episodes that preceded his internment, his iterative and dislocated drawings in which perspective is abolished in favour of interstitial writings that seem to proclaim the concept of « modernity ». Honoured in many international exhibitions, Carlo Zinelli was sacred by Massimiliano Gioni at the 2013 Venice Biennale.

carlo zinelli - © christian berst — art brut
Date 1916 — 1974
Country Italy

Over the course of the twenty-four years he spent on a psychiatric ward, Carlo Zinelli produced a dazzling body of work in which repeated figures create a theatre of shadows featuring the rhythmical movements of the protagonists of an inner narrative. Carlo, born in 1916 in San Giovanni Lupatoto, near Verona, was the son of a carpenter; his mother died when he was just two. He spent his teens working on a farm before becoming an apprentice butcher at the municipal abattoir in Verona. This was where his mystical taste for music and painting first became apparent. He was called up during the Second World War but was sent home from Spain on medical grounds.

His behaviour was erratic over the following few years, and he was eventually interned for good in 1947 at the San Giacomo hospital in Verona with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. His powerful creative drive led him to cover the hospital walls with graffiti whenever he had the chance. He joined the hospital’s painting and sculpture workshop when it opened in 1957. This sparked a period of frenzied creativity which saw the production of no fewer than three thousand gouache paintings and a number of sculptures. The urgency of his creative drive often led him to paint on both sides of the 50 cm x 70 cm sheets of paper he used. His work rapidly caught the eye of critics and was featured in exhibitions: Dubuffet acquired several of his drawings. Carlo died of pneumonia in 1974.
Several scholars and critics wrote about his art during his lifetime, and a foundation is devoted to his memory. Carlo Zinelli is now one of the widely known names in art brut.

Carlo Zinelli was recently featured in the giardini of the 2013 Venice Biennale and in the exhibition art brut, collection abcd / Bruno Decharme at the Maison rouge in 2014.

Artworks
Please contact us to inquire about the available works.
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 1965
19.69 x 27.56 in
untitled (both sides) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (both sides), 1967
19.69 x 27.56 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 1968
19.69 x 27.56 in
untitled (both sides) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (both sides), 1967
19.69 x 27.56 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 1969
19.69 x 27.56 in
untitled (both sides) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (both sides), 1968
19.69 x 27.56 in
Untitled - © christian berst — art brut
Untitled, 1966
19.69 x 27.56 in
Untitled - © christian berst — art brut
Untitled, 1967
19.69 x 27.56 in
Sans titre - © christian berst — art brut
Sans titre, 1967
19.69 x 27.56 in
Exhibitions
À deux
by Gustavo Giacosa, galerie Zola, Aix-en-Provence. From January 17 to March 7, 2020.
Carlo Zinelli
recto verso, Collection de l’art brut, Lausanne. From September 19, 2019 to February 2, 2020.
galeristes #3
art fair, Le Carreau du Temple. From November 30 to December 2, 2018.
Leben in art brut
coll. Hannah Rieger, Bildraum, Vienna. From July 14 to August 16, 2018.
Histories of violence
a dialogue between the works of the treger saint silvestre collection, Núcleo de arte da oliva, Portugal. From April 14, 2018 to February 28, 2019.
View more
3rd Biennale de l’Art Brut
Bodies, Lausanne, Suisse . From November 17, 2017 to April 29, 2018.
Les Refuges du récit
Écritures, langues et mondes imaginaires à partir de l’art brut, LaM, Villeneuve d'Ascq. From October 19, 2017 to March 28, 2018.
Living in art brut
123 works from the Hannah Rieger Collection, Musuem Krems an der Donau. From September 8 to October 26, 2017.
The Museum of everything
Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania. From June 17, 2017 to April 2, 2018.
The Golden Ratio Laws
Oliva Creative Factory, Portugal. From April 29 to September 30, 2017.
Art Brut
A Story of Individual Mythologies , Treger Saint Silvestre Collection, Portugal . From January 1 to February 26, 2017.
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.
MONsens
Outsider Art Past and Present & Interaction, Mons, Belgique. From June 20 to September 6, 2015.
Art brut live
DOX centre for contemporary art, Praha. From March 27 to August 17, 2015.
Drawing Now 2015
Carreau du Temple, Paris. From March 25 to 29, 2015.
do the write thing
read between the lines, new york gallery. From October 30 to December 21, 2014.
l’[OFF]icielle
FIAC, Cité de la Mode et du Design, Paris. From October 23 to 26, 2014.
(OFF)ICIELLE
cité de la mode et du design. From October 22 to 26, 2014.
Collecting Madness
Outsider Art from the Damman Collection Volume #2, Prinzhorn Collection, Allemagne . From March 14 to April 14, 2014.
Vehicles
Collection de l'art brut, Lausanne. From November 8, 2013 to April 27, 2014.
il palazzo enciclopedico, Venice Bienale #55
curator Massimiliano Gioni, Arsenale. From May 29 to July 28, 2013.
art paris - art fair 2013
Grand Palais. From March 28 to April 1, 2013.
slick art fair paris
paris. From October 17 to 21, 2012.
Banditi dell’arte
La Halle Saint Pierre, Paris. From March 23, 2012 to January 6, 2013.
carlo zinelli
a convulsive beauty, at the gallery. From June 10 to July 23, 2011.
glossolalia: languages of drawing
MoMA, New York. From March 26, 2008 to July 7, 2007.
Inner Worlds Outside
Fundacion La Caixa, Madrid ; Whitechapel gallery, London ; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. From January 18 to December 30, 2006.
Dubuffet & l’art brut
Museum kunst palast, Dusseldorf ; Collection de l'art brut, Lausanne ; LAM, Villeneuve d'Ascq. From April 23 to September 23, 2005.
Ecriture en délire
Collection de l'art brut Lausanne. From February 12 to September 26, 2004.
Carlo Zinelli
Musée international des arts modestes, Sète. From January 1 to March 30, 2004.
The crowd
Collection de l'art brut, Lausanne. From February 27 to August 25, 2002.
Exhibition view of *Carlo Zinelli : a convulsive beauty*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2011 - © ©christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
exhibition view of *historias de violencia*, curator : gustavo giacosa, oliva creative factory, sao joao da madeira, portugal, 2018. - © oliva creative factory, christian berst — art brut
christian berst art brut booth, *slick art fair paris*, le garage, from october 17th to 21th, 2012. - © christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Press review
carlo zinelli, grandeurs et misères de l’art brut
Philippe Godin, Diagonale De L’art. January 14, 2020.
graphomanies brutes
Claire Margat, Art Press. December 7, 2018.
galeristes une vision de la création
Alexia Lanta Maestrati, L’oeil. December 4, 2018.
l’envolée de l’art brut
éric Tariant, Le Temps. November 13, 2017.
art brut la fête des fous
Isabelle Martin-Anderson, Silver Age. July 1, 2016.
View more
Sur le fil
Claire Margat, Art Press N°434. May 20, 2016.
L’art brut comme aspiration infinie
La Rédaction, Première Vision. July 15, 2015.
Drawing Now : sous le signe de l’engagement
Eléonore Thery, Le Journal Des Arts. March 13, 2015.
Oficielle, beaucoup de bruit pour rien ou presque. Notre sélection qui sauve l’honneur
Hugo Saadi, Toutelaculture.com. October 22, 2014.
L’art brut à contre courant
Aurelie Romanacce, Pascaline Vallee Et Patrick Le Fur, Arts Magazine. August 29, 2014.
La flambée de l’art brut
Emmanuelle Lequeux, Beaux Arts. August 29, 2014.
un musée d’art brut ouvre au Portugal
Roxana Azimi, Quotidien De L’art. July 1, 2014.
Il bello del Brut: i dilettanti sono blue-chips
Luana De Micco, Il Giornale Dell’Arte. January 23, 2014.
Dans le pêle-mêle déroutant d’Art Paris
Philippe Dagen, Le Monde. March 29, 2013.
L'art brut épate les galeries
Eric Tariant, We Demain. February 5, 2013.
Qu'acheter en période de crise : l'avis de christian berst
Stéphanie Pioda Et Raphaël Pic, Beaux Arts Magazine. May 2, 2012.
carlo zinelli : une beauté convulsive
Aleksandra Smilek, Paris Art. July 12, 2011.
Un peu d'art brut dans un monde moderne
Bénédicte Philippe, Telerama Sortir. July 6, 2011.
Carlo Zinelli, le dandy prisonnier
Gilles Tordjman, Artnet. June 29, 2011.
Carlo Zinelli
Paul Schmitt, Pixelcréation. June 15, 2011.
Carlo et les convulsionnaires
Animula Vagula. June 8, 2011.
Collections
LaM, musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut de Lille Métropole
France
collection de l’Art brut
Switzerland
American Folk Art Museum
United States
abcd / Bruno Decharme collection
France
Treger Saint Silvestre collection
Portugal
View more
Carmen and Daniel Klein collection
Switzerland
Hannah Rieger collection
Austria
Arnulf Rainer collection
Austria
Antoine Frérot collection
France
Emmanuelle and Guy Delcourt collection
France
Dr. Guislain Museum
Belgium
The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Anthony Petullo Collection
United States
Dammann collection
Switzerland
Olomouc Museum of Art
Czech Republic
Video
D’art et d’actu : L’art brut
Language English
Carlo Zinelli

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