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At a very young age, Marilena Pelosi began to make drawings in which exuberant Catholicism and feverish Macumba, from her native Brazil, swirled to the point of delirium. The reminiscence of trance, eucharistic processions and carnivals are inextricably combined with much more intimate evocations. Now living in Normandy, she continues these same disturbing drawings, made with ballpoint pens, in which doll-women are both executioners and victims. Entering the BIC collection (France) in 2019, she is represented in major collections, including those of Hannah Rieger (Austria), Amr Shaker (Switzerland), and Dino Menozzi (Italy).

Marilena Pelosi - © christian berst — art brut
Date 1957 —
Country Brazil

Marilena Pelosi’s dark, unfettered lines and complex, sometimes highly colourful creations recount a cruel fairy tale full of symbols, in which meaning slips away, challenging understanding – including her own, even though, as she admits, “It’s normal people who go mad. But since I’ve never been normal, I’m quite safe”.

Born in 1957 in Rio de Janeiro, Marilena initially wanted to study Fine Art, but, as she says, “It’s a good thing I didn’t, because they’d have taught me to draw properly”. She began producing art at the age of sixteen while convalescing after a serious illness, as a way of passing the time. She eventually had to leave Brazil to escape a forced marriage with a voodoo priest. This marked the beginning of a period of rootless drifting, during which she turned to art to help her get over two failed marriages.

Her drawings, in biro or felt pen on ordinary or tracing paper, often depicted women, sometimes undergoing torture, spurting tears: bodily fluids – water and blood – are omnipresent. A transgressive form of Marilena’s native culture is also palpable in the works, the exuberant Catholicism and feverish Macumba of her homeland forming a mad whirl. Her untrammelled, disturbing art, oozing a sense of sharp suffering, throws the viewer into an illicit, intimate, sublime world.

Marilena Pelosi’s art is now is held in major collections of art brut, while a number of articles and book-length studies have recently been devoted to her work.

Please contact us to inquire about the available works.
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 2016
8.27 x 5.91 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 2017
8.27 x 5.51 in
to protect the possible crop - © christian berst — art brut
to protect the possible crop, 2016
3.94 x 5.91 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 2018
11.42 x 8.27 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 2014
11.81 x 8.27 in
untitled - © christian berst — art brut
untitled, 2018
12.6 x 9.45 in
Marilena Pelosi catharsis
Catalogue published to mark the exhibition *Marilena Pelosi : catharsis*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2017. - © christian berst — art brut

Preface : Laurent Quénéhen
Foreword : Christian Berst
Catalog published to mark the exhibition Marilena Pelosi : catharsis, from January 28th to February 25th, 2017.

Art Brut in the Giacosa-Ferraiuolo collection, Rome. From September 25, 2021 to January 30, 2022.
online viewing rooms, online. From March 4 to 7, 2021.
Death salon 2
curated by Laurent Quénéhen, the bridge. From February 13 to March 19, 2021.
Sereno variavel
curated by Antonia Gaeta, Centro de Arte Oliva, São João da Madeira. From October 31, 2020 to May 2, 2021.
Sexual Personae
curated by Alison M. Gingeras, Hôtel Drouot, Paris. From October 21 to 29, 2020.
View more
Amours II
act two, galerie Héloïse, Paris. From October 8 to 18, 2020.
In the flesh
real bodies, at the gallery. From June 14 to July 11, 2020.
drawing now 2020
cancelled. From March 25 to 29, 2020.
À deux
by Gustavo Giacosa, galerie Zola, Aix-en-Provence. From January 17 to March 7, 2020.
A Beleza Insensata, Treger Saint-Silvestre collection, Portugal. From November 9, 2019 to March 15, 2020.
Blood test
Dr Guislain museum. From June 21 to October 20, 2019.
Treger Saint-Silvestre Collection, Centro de Arte Oliva, Portugal. From April 13 to September 15, 2019.
Flying High
Women Artists of Art Brut, Kunstforum, Vienne. From February 15 to June 23, 2019.
art fair, in Marseille. From September 1 to 2, 2018.
Leben in art brut
coll. Hannah Rieger, Bildraum, Vienna. From July 14 to August 16, 2018.
Salo VI
Erotic Drawing Room, Paris. From June 14 to 18, 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.
drawing now 2018
Carreau du Temple. From March 22 to 25, 2018.
Living in art brut
123 works from the Hannah Rieger Collection, Musuem Krems an der Donau. From September 8 to October 26, 2017.
session #5
filiation, galerie Paris-Beijing, Paris. From June 29 to July 2, 2017.
Salo V
Erotic Drawings Art Fair, galerie épisodique, paris. From June 2 to 5, 2017.
Marilena Pelosi
Catharsis, at the gallery. From January 28 to February 25, 2017.
Espace culturel Séraphine Louise, Clermont . From January 20 to March 5, 2017.
Art Brut
A Story of Individual Mythologies , Treger Saint Silvestre Collection, Portugal . From January 1 to February 26, 2017.
Outsider Art Museum
collaboration between Dolhuys, Cordaan and the Hermitage Musuem, Hermitage, Amsterdam. April 23, 2016.
les unes et les autres
Centre d'Etude de l'Expression et Centre Hospitalier Sainte-Anne, Paris. From April 14 to July 10, 2016.
On The Wire
by Jean-Hubert Martin, at the gallery. From April 9 to May 22, 2016.
Salo IV
Erotic Drawings Fair, Paris. From April 8 to 10, 2016.
Drawing Now 2016
Carreau du temple, Paris. From March 30 to April 3, 2016.
at the Gallery. From September 12 to October 10, 2015.
Latin American Art
Hamer Gallery, Amsterdam. From November 30, 2013 to January 4, 2014.
Drawing Now 2013
Carrousel du louvre, paris. From April 11 to 14, 2013.
Corps accords
Art & Marges Museum, Brussels . From September 10 to December 31, 2010.
marilena pelosi 2009
breaking the hex, at the gallery. From February 13 to March 14, 2009.
salon du dessin contemporain
From April 10 to 14, 2008.
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
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
Exhibition view of *Marilena Pelosi : catharsis*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2017 - © © christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Press review
Fiac Online viewing rooms : notre sélection
Alexandre Crochet, The Art Newspaper. February 28, 2021.
quatrième tour des galeries post-confinement
La Rédaction, Connaissance Des Arts. June 20, 2020.
Les femmes de l’art brut sortent de l’ombre
Florence Millioud-henriques, 24 Heures. April 30, 2019.
histoire d’O(s)
Laurent Quénéhen, Point Contemporain (hors Série). June 28, 2018.
marilena pelosi
Claire Margat, Artpress. April 28, 2017.
View more
Portrait de galeriste: Christian Berst
La Rédaction, Revue Point Contemporain. March 1, 2017.
Les dessins de Marilena Pelosi à la galerie Berst : un carnaval cruel et comique
Thierry Hay, Blog France TV . February 10, 2017.
Heureusement que je ne suis pas allée aux Beaux-Arts, on m’y aurait peut-être appris à dessiner correctement
Bruno Dubreuil, Viens Voir. February 9, 2017.
marilena pelosi - catharsis
Bénédicte Philippe, Télé February 3, 2017.
Claire Margat, Art Press. January 31, 2017.
Jessica Boucher Rétif, Paris Art. January 27, 2017.
drawing now fête ses 10 ans au carreau du temple
Pauline Le Gall, Artviatic. April 1, 2016.
Drawing Now : « La foire est arrivée à maturité »
La Rédaction, AMA. March 30, 2016.
Annonce de l'exposition Marilena Pelosi
Raw Vision. December 1, 2009.
Itinéraire expogéographique
Animula Vagula. March 8, 2009.
Marilena Pelosi : Manoeuvres de désenvoûtement
Télérama Sortir. March 4, 2009.
Marilena Pelosi à l'Objet-Trouvé
Le Poignard Subtil. February 9, 2009.
Annonce de l'exposition Marilena Pelosi
Raw Vision. July 2, 2007.
CNAP Centre National des Arts Plastiques
Carmen and Daniel Klein collection
Antoine Frérot collection
Treger Saint Silvestre collection
Amr Shaker collection
View more
Emmanuelle and Guy Delcourt collection
BIC collection
Hannah Rieger collection
Trinkhall museum
art)&(marges collection
Dino Menozzi collection
Inye collection
Russia (Russian Federation)
Marilena Pelosi

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