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Design machines to heal incurable diseases, invade the city and proclaim messages of peace, set up plans to destroy misery, build shelters to house the population in the event of a global disaster…

Whether upset by tragic event or called by a higher force, the authors presented in this exhibition feel compelled by a mission ever so intrinsically connected with their creativity. They all give their utmost to devise imaginary solutions to repair or save the world.

The gallery lent works by Guo Fengyi.

Giovanni Battista Podesta - © christian berst — art brut

Giovanni Battista Podesta

Giovanni Battista Podesta, born in 1895 in Torre Pallavicina (northern Italy), is the only son of a peasant family of thirteen children very poor, the father having died young, Giovanni environment is exclusively female. Its financial condition forced him to leave school at the age of ten in favor of aid work mason. Called to war, he knows his return and reintegration difficulties must resign himself to commit three years with the carabinieri. It is then sent to Laveno, a small village on the shores of Lake Maggiore, where he met his future wife whom he married after leaving his post to work in a ceramics factory. The couple has two children. Joint, Giovanni began his creative activity. He[…]

andré robillard - © christian berst — art brut

André Robillard

Interned since his teens, André Robillard has built his life within the hospital. It was around the age of 30 that this French artist began to create rifles with materials found here and there. Discovered by Jean Dubuffet and encouraged by Michel Thévoz (then director of the Art Brut collection), he continues to create hybrid objects, from machine guns to Sputnik. André Robillard’s incredible story has participated to his international recognition. Present in the collections of the LaM (France), Whitworth (UK) or MAC’s (Belgium), he was particularly celebrated in the closing exhibition of la maison rouge (Paris) in 2018. A significant number of his works was donated to the Centre Pompidou in 2021.

Guo Fengyi - © christian berst — art brut

Guo Fengyi

Living her spirituality along the paths of Qi-gong, it was at the dawn of her 40th birthday that Guo Fengyi began to reinterpret popular Chinese beliefs in ink and brush drawings. On rolls of rice paper, sometimes measuring up to 10 meters, entities unfold.
Sometimes akin to The Pantheon, sometimes to pandemonium, they seem to float in a space-time void. These heretical scrolls were exhibited at the 55thVenice Biennale, curated by Massimiliano Gioni and in 2023, during the exhibition Chrysalide : le rêve du papillon at the Center of Contemporary Art of Genève .

george widener - © christian berst — art brut

George Widener

A former U.S. Air Force technician, chronically depressed and antisocial, it is only when he reached his thirties that he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. His syndrome is characterized by an eidetic memory that allows him to insert in his works a lot of data, especially encrypted, relating to his favorite subjects. Time, magic squares, the Titanic, and fictional megalopolises are among the recurring themes of his drawings. Present, among others, in the collections of the Smithsonian (Washington), his art has been shown at the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris, in the cult exhibition Le Bord des Mondes or in Alternative Guide to the Universe at the Hayward Gallery in London. In 2024, it will be exhibited at Lafayette Anticipations (Paris).

Save the World ?

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