christian berstart brut
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The works of Madge Gill, a mediumistic artist from the mid-20th century, were collected by Jean Dubuffet. Guided by a spirit and in a trance state, Madge Gill drew in ink on surfaces ranging from small formats to rolls of over a hundred meters. Her entire body of work was only discovered after she died in 1961. Today considered a key figure in outsider art, her works can be found in major European and North American collections: American Folk Art Museum (New York, USA), the Museum of Everything (UK), Arnulf Rainer Collection (Austria), Damman (Switzerland), etc. In 2024, her works are presented at the Venice Biennale curated by Adriano Pedrosa.

Madge Gill - © christian berst — art brut
Date 1882 — 1961
Country Great Britain

The drawings Madge Gill produces in the darkness of her attic tirelessly represent a female figure, always similar, magnified, sumptuously dressed, evolving in an unreal world with grandiose and maze-like, improbable architecture. Time and space appear to have been abolished, as if suspended, and yet, an insistent vitality powerfully animates the black ink, transcends paper and fabric, and tells us a story.

An illegitimate child, Madge Gill, born in 1882 in London, is first hidden by her mother and aunt, then placed in an orphanage at the age of nine. Sent to Canada to work on a farm, she returns to Great Britain at the age of nineteen, becomes a nurse, and marries her cousin, of whom she has three sons. The second son died and the following year, in 1919, she gave birth to a stillborn baby girl. These trials plunge Gill into a long illness resulting in her losing the sight of her left eye. As her aunt initiates her into spiritualism, she devotes herself to painting.

Working very quickly, for whole nights, by candlelight, in a state close to trance, this hypersensitive and reserved woman refuses to sell her works, which she believes belong to her guiding spirit Myrninerest (my innerest, “my most intimate”). Her drawings range from banners reaching dozens of meters to postcards and intermediate formats, all worked with pen and black ink with a few rare chromatic deviations.
It was only after she died in 1961 that hundreds of drawings were found in her home, stacked in closets or under the beds.

A key figure in art brut fascinating Jean Dubuffet, Roger Cardinal, Michel Thévoz, and many others, Madge Gill’s masterful work is represented in the world’s most important collections of art brut.

Please contact us to inquire about the available works.
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 1940
5.51 x 3.15 in
Luminous Planet - © christian berst — art brut
Luminous Planet, 1940
29.92 x 21.65 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 1940
5.51 x 3.15 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 1940
3.15 x 5.51 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 1940
5.51 x 3.15 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 1940
5.51 x 3.15 in
in abstracto #3
in abstracto #3 - © christian berst — art brut

Text: Raphaël Koenig
Foreword: Christian Berst
Catalog published to mark the exhibition in abstracto #3, from February 9 to March 19, 2023.


little venice
aloïse corbaz madge gill leopold strobl anna zemánková, main gallery. From May 18 to June 15, 2024.
Aloïse Corbaz, Madge Gill, Leopold Strobl et Anna Zemánková at the Venice Biennale
Foreigners everywhere, curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Biennale de Venise. From April 20 to November 24, 2024.
celestial epics
art brut in the Decharme collection, Villa Médicis. From March 1 to May 19, 2024.
Culturas Paralelas:
works from the treger saint silvestre collection, Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto, Portugal. From February 17 to April 22, 2023.
in abstracto
#3, main gallery. From February 9 to March 19, 2023.
View more
Gribouillage / Scarabocchio
Palais des Beaux-Arts - Beaux-Arts de Paris - Paris 6e. February 8, 2023.
the chobot collection :
art brut at the albertina museum, the albertina museum, Paris. From July 14 to September 18, 2022.
5th art brut biennial :
beliefs, Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne. From December 17, 2021 to May 1, 2022.
Death salon 2
curated by Laurent Quénéhen, the bridge by christian berst. From February 13 to March 19, 2021.
Sexual Personae
curated by Alison M. Gingeras, Hôtel Drouot, Paris. From October 21 to 29, 2020.
#47, cancelled. From October 21 to 25, 2020.
ladies brut
Galerie Gugging. From September 17 to November 8, 2020.
Spirit, are you there?
The Painters of the Beyond, Musée Maillol, Paris. From June 10 to November 1, 2020.
in abstracto #2
at the gallery. From March 5 to June 6, 2020.
Other Transmissions
conversations with outsider art, The Whitworth, Manchester, UK. From February 14 to June 14, 2020.
4th Biennale of Art Brut
Theatre, Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne. From November 29, 2019 to August 30, 2020.
Ojo electrico
Casa Encendida, Madrid. September 24, 2019.
Floral Fantasies
Between Symbolism and Outsider Art, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum. From March 31 to August 4, 2019.
drawing now 2019
Carreau du Temple. From March 27 to 30, 2019.
on the edge of the visible and the invisible, at the gallery. From March 7 to April 13, 2019.
Flying High
Women Artists of Art Brut, Kunstforum, Vienne. From February 15 to June 23, 2019.
mediums and visionaires, Musée d'art moderne et contemporain, Palma. From February 15 to June 2, 2019.
Leben in art brut
coll. Hannah Rieger, Bildraum, Vienna. From July 14 to August 16, 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.
Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne. From November 13, 2015 to April 17, 2016.
at the Gallery. From September 12 to October 10, 2015.
Elevations, Bruno Decharme & Antoine de Galbert Collections
Hommage à Joseph Ferdinand Cheval, Château de Hauterives . From April 30 to 27, 2015.
art brut masterpieces and discoveries
carte blanche à bruno decharme, at the gallery. From October 21 to November 29, 2014.
Art brut
ABCD Collection / Bruno Decharme, la Maison rouge, Paris. From October 17, 2014 to January 18, 2015.
Collecting Madness
Outsider Art from the Damman Collection Volume #2, Prinzhorn Collection, Allemagne . From March 14 to April 14, 2014.
Arte Bruta Terra Incognita
by Christian Berst, Collection Treger-Saint Silvestre, Lisbonne. From April 20 to September 13, 2012.
Inner Worlds Outside
Fundacion La Caixa, Madrid ; Whitechapel gallery, London ; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. From January 18 to December 30, 2006.
Art Spirite, Mediumnique, Visionnaire
Messages D’Outre-Monde, La Halle Saint Pierre, Paris. From September 13, 1999 to February 27, 2000.
exhibition view of *in abstracto #3*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2023 - © christian berst — art brut
exhibition view of *in abstracto #2,* christian berst art brut, paris, 2020. - © christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
exhibition view of *the beyond : on the edge of the visible and the invisible*, christian berst art brut, paris, 2019. - © christian berst art brut, photo: elena groud, christian berst — art brut
exhibition view of *flying high, künstlerinnen der art brut*, curators: ingried brugger, hannah rieger, veronika rudorfer, kunstforum, vienna, austria, 2019. - © kunstforum, photo: nilo klotz, christian berst — art brut
Madge Gill - © christian berst — art brut
Press review
« Ces artistes sont des visionnaires » : une des plus grandes collections d’art brut au monde exposée à Rome
Eric Tariant, Connaissance Des Arts. April 24, 2024.
Katy Hessel’s guide to the 2024 Venice Biennale, Madge Gill
Katy Hessel, Harper’s Bazaar. April 22, 2024.
Madge Gill featured in: 5 Standouts From the 2024 Venice Biennale
Lisa Wong Macabasco, Vogue US. April 22, 2024.
Central Pavilion Review: A Celebration of ‘Outsiders’ That Lacks a Punch
Sean Burns, Frieze. April 19, 2024.
Un Pavillon international hors des sentiers battus
Stéphane Renault, The Art Newspaper. April 19, 2024.
View more
Dialogue nil! Why the art at the Venice Biennale remains strangely alien
Time. April 19, 2024.
La Biennale de Venise parle étranger
Rafael Pic, Le Quotidien De L’Art. April 17, 2024.
L’art brut entre par la grande porte à la Villa Médicis
Bérénice Geoffroy-Schneiter, The Art Newspaper. April 11, 2024.
Un Monde d’art Brut - Par Oriol Malet & Christian Berst - Delcourt/Encrages
DT, ActuBD. August 13, 2022.
Bulles d’art - Un monde d’art brut
Philippe Ducat, Artpress. April 20, 2022.
Un monde d’art brut
Marie Zawisza, Le Journal Des Arts. March 28, 2022.
Lorsque l’art brut est poli par les croyances
Laurence Desbordes, L’illustré. February 25, 2022.
Oriol Malet: “Me ilusionan los encargos que no sé si sabré hacer”
Francesca Bombi-Vilaseca Barcelona, La Vanguardia. January 4, 2022.
Un monde d’art brut
J. Milette, BDGest. December 20, 2021.
La hotte est pleine !
Léa Cances, Art Hebdo Médias. December 20, 2021.
‘Art brut’, entre la genialidad y la locura
Jordi Canyissà Barcelona, La Vanguardia. December 8, 2021.
Au fil du faire avec Michel Nedjar et cie
Vincent Delaury, Le Journal Des Arts. November 23, 2021.
Culture / L’Art brut: un succès non démenti
Yves Tenret, Bon Pour La Tête. November 19, 2021.
Un monde d’Art Brut, une initiation en BD
Laetitia Larralde, Toute La Culture. November 8, 2021.
« Un monde d’art brut » : la fureur de créer
Jonathan Fanara, Le Mag Du Ciné. October 27, 2021.
BD du mois – Se laisser tenter par l’aventure
Charlène Ponzo, Maze. October 27, 2021.
Un vieux monsieur dérangé
Géant Vert, Rock & Folk. October 22, 2021.
un monde d’art brut
Franck Guigue, Planete BD. October 19, 2021.
Berst = Brut
Frédéric Bosser, Les Arts Dessinés. October 12, 2021.
L’art brut adapté en bande dessinée
Natacha Wolinski, The Art Newspaper. October 8, 2021.
Au Centre Pompidou, l’art brut trouve sa place dans les collections du musée
Clémentine Mercier, Libération. June 11, 2021.
L’art brut prend ses quartiers à Beaubourg
Roxana Azimi, Le Monde. June 10, 2021.
déconfinement : 7 expositions à voir à paris en mai 2020
La Rédaction, Télérama Sortir. May 18, 2020.
Les femmes de l’art brut sortent de l’ombre
Florence Millioud-henriques, 24 Heures. April 30, 2019.
LaM, musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut de Lille Métropole
Musée national d’art moderne (Pompidou)
collection de l’Art brut
Antoine Frérot collection
abcd / Bruno Decharme collection
View more
Treger Saint Silvestre collection
Piet Meyer collection
Emmanuelle and Guy Delcourt collection
American Folk Art Museum
United States
Hannah Rieger collection
Arnulf Rainer collection
The Museum of Everything
Great Britain
the Albertina Museum
Dr. Guislain Museum
The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Anthony Petullo Collection
United States
Dammann collection
Madge Gill

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