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He is the living most exposed and published brut artist and yet, the extraordinary trajectory of this Frenchman poses a question rarely addressed: that of the impermanence of art brut. Discovered by Jean Dubuffet during his work on the resurgence of the symbolic body, he then became the protean artist we know today and who, in creation, embodies an absolute freedom. Found in numerous collections, he is the first brut artist whose works were added to the collections of the Musée National d’Art Moderne (France). Since 2008, he has been celebrated through six monographic exhibitions by Le Mahj (Paris), LaM (Lille), the Gugging Museum (Vienna), and the gallery.

Michel Nedjar - © christian berst — art brut
Date 1947 —
Country France

Michel Nedjar was born in 1947 in Soisy-sous Montmorency (Val d’Oise) to an Ashkenazi mother and a Sephardic father. The third in a family of 7 children, he became passionate about fabric very early on – his father being a tailor –, making dresses for his sisters’ dolls – with which he secretly played – and helping his grandmother sell old rags (Schmatess) at the flea market. As an adolescent, he became painfully aware of the Holocaust, of the history of his family, in large part fallen victim to Nazism: the tragic dolls he then began to make are reminiscent of this. He subsequently went on numerous trips to Asia and Mexico, where he discovered the magical Kachina dolls and the mummies: “They weren’t dead. They had their costumes, their dresses glued to their skin.”

It was upon his return that he made his first dolls (his “soul flesh” series, a pun on the French for “dear ladies”) out of rope, rags and feathers that he would soak in a bath of dirt, dye and blood. Nothing but burnt cadavers and mutilated bodies. Starting in 1980, his creativity extended to drawing, wax and painting. When Dubuffet discovered him and started to collect his dolls, Nedjar was introduced to Art Brut: enthusiastic, he himself began to seek new artists, to collect their works and co-founded – with Madeleine Lommel and Claire Teller – L’Aracine.* Thus, Nedjar entered doubly into the world of Art History, as a scout for art brut, and above all, as an artist. Roger Cardinal dedicated a leading article to him in the Fascicules of Art Brut and more than 20 or so of his works are in the National Museum of Modern Art thanks to the Cordier donation.
He is the art brut artist – even if he no longer really belongs in this category – who has exposed the most over the past 30 years and his work has been the subject of a great number of international publications.

The Museum of Art and History of Judaism (mahJ) devoted an exhibition to him in 2016 and the LAM (Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut ), a retrospective in 2017.

  • The donation of this collection in 1999 allowed for the foundation of the first art brut museum in France at the LaM, in Villeneuve d’Ascq.
     
Artworks
Please contact us to inquire about the available works.
untitled (Belleville) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Belleville), 1980
8.66 x 9.84 in
untitled (Belleville) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Belleville), 1987
28.35 x 20.87 in
Présence, sans titre | Paris Belleville - © christian berst — art brut
Présence, sans titre | Paris Belleville, 1991
18.9 x 28.74 in
untitled (Belleville’s period) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Belleville’s period), 1985
11.42 x 8.27 in
untitled (Darius’s period) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Darius’s period), 1993
15.35 x 16.54 in
untitled (Belleville) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Belleville), 1983
18.5 x 12.6 in
untitled (Darius) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Darius), 1993
30.31 x 42.13 in
untitled | Paris St.-Martin - © christian berst — art brut
untitled | Paris St.-Martin, 2003
8.27 x 5.91 in
untitled (Belleville) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Belleville), 1985
1.57 x 8.27 in
untitled (Darius’s period) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Darius’s period), 1998
21.65 x 13.78 in
untitled (Saint-Martin’s period) - © christian berst — art brut
untitled (Saint-Martin’s period), 2018
25.59 x 13.78 in
untitled | Paris Darius - © christian berst — art brut
untitled | Paris Darius, 1994
47.24 x 31.5 in
Catalog
Michel Nedjar crossroads
Catalogue published to mark the exhibition *Michel Nedjar : crossroads*, christian berst art brut, Paris, 2017. - © christian berst — art brut

Preface : Philippe Godin
Forewords : Christian Berst.
Catalogue published to mark the exhibition Michel Nedjar : crossroads, from March 16th to April 22nd, 2017.

Exhibitions
Other Transmissions
conversations with outsider art, The Whitworth, Manchester, UK. From February 14 to June 14, 2020.
New Images of Man
Blum & Poe LLC. From February 1 to March 14, 2020.
À deux
by Gustavo Giacosa, galerie Zola, Aix-en-Provence. From January 17 to March 7, 2020.
The Dagmar and Manfred Chobot Collection
a donation to the Albertina Museum, Albertina Museum, Vienna. From December 13, 2019 to February 23, 2020.
galeristes art fair
at Le Carreau du Temple. From October 18 to 20, 2019.
View more
Flora & Fauna brut
Gugging Gallery. From May 15 to August 30, 2019.
ART BRUT
La Pinacothèque, Luxembourg. From January 26 to June 15, 2019.
galeristes #3
art fair, Le Carreau du Temple. From November 30 to December 2, 2018.
pareidolie
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.
Rits, Living Images
H gallerie, Paris. From June 22 to July 21, 2018.
do the write thing 2
read between the lines, at the gallery. From April 26 to June 2, 2018.
drawing now 2018
Carreau du Temple. From March 22 to 25, 2018.
3rd Biennale de l’Art Brut
Bodies, Lausanne, Suisse . From November 17, 2017 to April 29, 2018.
The House
by Gustavo Giacosa, galerie Zola, Aix-en-Provence. From September 30 to December 30, 2017.
Living in art brut
123 works from the Hannah Rieger Collection, Musuem Krems an der Donau. From September 8 to October 26, 2017.
Inextricabilia
la Maison rouge, Paris. From June 23 to September 17, 2017.
The Museum of everything
Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania. From June 17, 2017 to April 2, 2018.
in abstracto
at the gallery. From June 8 to July 15, 2017.
Drawing Now 2017
Le Carreau du Temple, Paris. From March 23 to 26, 2017.
Michel Nedjar
Crossroads, at the gallery. From March 16 to April 22, 2017.
golem !
avatars of a clay legend, mahJ, Paris . From March 8 to July 16, 2017.
Michel Nedjar
Introspective, LaM, Villeneuve-d'Ascq. From February 23 to June 4, 2017.
galeristes
salon des galeries et des collectionneurs engagés , carreau du temple. From December 8 to 11, 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.
Michel Nedjar : Presences
mahJ, Paris. From February 15 to October 23, 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.
The Wall
Antoine de Galbert Collection , la Maison rouge, Paris. From June 14 to September 21, 2014.
michel nedjar
momentum (a retrospective), at the gallery. From May 23 to July 12, 2014.
Collecting Madness
Outsider Art from the Damman Collection Volume #2, Prinzhorn Collection, Allemagne . From March 14 to April 14, 2014.
Accidental Genius
art from the Anthony Petullo Collection, Milwaukee, USA. From February 10 to May 6, 2012.
outsider art fair
From February 11 to 13, 2011.
beyond the boundaries season 2010
discoveries and recent acquisitions, at the gallery. From September 16 to October 16, 2010.
art paris 2010
From March 18 to 22, 2010.
Purim dolls
Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du judaïsme, Paris. From March 9 to September 13, 2009.
Michel Nedjar animo.!
und gugging classics, Gugging museum. From May 31 to December 31, 2008.
Inner Worlds Outside
Fundacion La Caixa, Madrid ; Whitechapel gallery, London ; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. From January 18 to December 30, 2006.
exhibition view of *new images of man*, curator : alison m. gingeras, blum & poe gallery, los angeles, united states, 2020. - © blum & poe gallery, photo: makenzie goodman, christian berst — art brut
exhibition view of *michel nedjar, instrospective*, lille metropolitan museum of modern art, contemporary art and art brut, villeneuve-d'ascq, 2017. - © lille metropolitan museum of modern art, contemporary art and art brut, christian berst — art brut
exhibition view of *michel nedjar, momentum*, christian berst art brut, paris, 2014. - © christian berst art brut, christian berst — art brut
Press review
an exhibition revises moma’s 1959 new images of man with newer images of men - and women
Travis Diehl, Art In America. March 6, 2020.
les 50 meilleures galeries d’art de paris
Tania Brimson, Houssine Bouchama, Clotilde Gaillard, Time Out. September 3, 2019.
michel nedjar uncanny consolation
Claire Margat, Art Press. January 6, 2018.
l’envolée de l’art brut
éric Tariant, Le Temps. November 13, 2017.
michel nedjar ou l’indispensable versant de l’art contemporain
Bruno Dubreuil, Viens Voir. April 19, 2017.
View more
NEDJAR Introspective
Claire Margat, La Critique.org. April 15, 2017.
michel nedjar ou l’art de bouleverser
Céline Rognon, Arts Hebdo. April 10, 2017.
michel nedjar : crossroads
Bénédicte Philippe, Télérama Sortir. March 29, 2017.
Les poupées de Michel Nedjar envoûtent le Musée d’art moderne de Lille
Marion Gadea, France Info - Culture Box. March 16, 2017.
crossroads
La Rédaction, Paris Art. March 10, 2017.
Les obsessions de Michel Nedjar en majesté au LaM
Roxana Azimi, Qda. March 7, 2017.
poupées d’ombre et de lumière au musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut de Lille Métropole
Myriam Boutoulle, Connaissance Des Arts. March 6, 2017.
nedjar, l’homme aux poupées
Sophie Pujas, Le Point. March 5, 2017.
Le LaM expose les émois inquiets de l’artiste Michel Nedjar dans une vaste “introspective“
Jean-Marie Durand, Les Inrocks. February 27, 2017.
michel nedjar, sombre épopée de poupées
Clémentine Mercier, Libération Next. February 26, 2017.
l’art du recyclage de michel nedjar entre profonde noirceur et hymne au voyage
La Rédaction, Le Parisien. February 24, 2017.
au LaM : michel nedjar, un parcours artistique et introspectif
Jean-marie Duhamel, La Voix Du Nord. February 23, 2017.
michel nedjar, terriblement inclassable
Colin Cyvoct, L’oeil. February 1, 2017.
cinq bons points pour galeristes 2016
Guy Boyer, Connaissances Des Arts. December 12, 2016.
Sur le fil
Claire Margat, Art Press N°434. May 20, 2016.
Michel Nedjar au mahJ
Philippe Godin, Libération : La Diagonale De L’art. March 4, 2016.
Qu’est-ce que l’art brut ? On a posé la question à 3 spécialistes
Marie-Charlotte Burat , Exponaute. September 28, 2015.
Brutes de l’art
Marie Zawisza, Le Monde. October 4, 2014.
Michel Nedjar à l’état brut
Dominique Poiret, Libération Next. June 27, 2014.
Fétiches, poupées et gris-gris
Philippe Lespinasse, Siné Mensuel. June 26, 2014.
Michel Nedjar
Claire Margat, Art Press. June 26, 2014.
Michel Nedjar, momentum
François Salmeron, Paris Art. June 24, 2014.
Françoise Monnin aime : Michel Nedjar
Françoise Monnin, Artension N° 126. June 24, 2014.
Michel Nedjar, momentum
La Rédaction, Art Actuel. June 16, 2014.
Michel Nedjar à Paris, de la réalité au rêve
Marie-laure Bouquerel-Desjardins, Artshebdomedias.com. June 10, 2014.
Michel Nedjar, momentum
Bénédicte Philippe, TéléramaSortir.fr. June 4, 2014.
A l’avant-garde : Michel Nedjar
Delphine Neimon, The ARTchemists. June 2, 2014.
Michel Nedjar
Roxana Azimi, Quotidien De L’art. May 23, 2014.
Une rentrée hors-les-normes
Télérama Sortir. September 29, 2010.
Art Paris nouvelle formule, Foire ou spectacle
Beaux Arts. March 1, 2010.
Collections
LaM, musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut de Lille Métropole
France
collection de l’Art brut
Switzerland
Hannah Rieger collection
Austria
Hervé Lancelin Pinacothèque
Luxembourg
Charlotte Zander Museum
Germany
View more
The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Anthony Petullo Collection
United States
Dammann collection
Switzerland
Video
Michel Nedjar table ronde
Table ronde, le 10 juin 2014 à l’occasion de l’exposition “Michel Nedjar : momentum” à la galerie […]
Language French
Michel Nedjar

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