Michel Nedjar (1947), an artist at the crossroads of art brut and contemporary art, is a founding member of L’Aracine, which donated its exceptional collection of art brut to the LaM in 1999.
These days, his mud and rag dolls are the works the public most identifies with him, although his prolific artistic production is far from limited to them. The exhibition sets out to explore the many aspects of his abundant work: the dolls, of course, but also the sculptures, drawings, paintings, and experimental films, dating from 1960 to 2016, along with the themes that underlie his entire practice: childhood and primitivism, life and death, and magic and travel.
For this exhibition, the gallery lent 13 Michel Nedjar’s artworks.
He is the most widely exhibited and published living art brut artist, yet the extraordinary trajectory of this Frenchman raises a question that is rarely addressed: that of the impermanence of art brut. Discovered by Jean Dubuffet at a time when he was working on the resurgence of the symbolic body, he allowed himself to become the protean artist we know and who, in his creation, embodies absolute freedom. His work can be found in countless collections, and he was the first artist brut to enter the collections of the Musée national d’art moderne (Pompidou). Exhibited at the Monnaie de Paris, the Albertina Museum and the Mona, Michel Nedjar has been the subject of nine monographic exhibitions.