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From june 10th to november 1st, 2020, Maillol Museum (Paris) presents the works of twenty spiritualist artists including Augustin Lesage, Fernand Desmoulin, Madge Gill and Fleury-Joseph Crépin.

Conceived and shown for the first time at the LaM - Lille Metropole Museum in autumn 2019, this group exhibition highlights the continuance of spiritualist practices and their dissemination beyond the world of painting.

Curated by Savine Faupin and Christophe Boulanger.

Madge Gill - © christian berst — art brut

Madge Gill

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.

Augustin Lesage - © © Désiré Appourchaux, christian berst — art brut

Augustin Lesage

Augustin Lesage was born in 1876 in Brittany to a family of miners. At the age of fourteen he went to work in the mines, where, in 1911, “(he) heard a voice that said clearly, ‘one day you will be a painter.’” Afraid of being considered mentally unstable, he kept this revelation to himself and began to explore spiritualism. During one seance, a message conveyed by spirits confirmed his artistic calling. Under their instruction, he made nonrepresentational drawings of spiral shapes in colored pencil. The spirits would soon tell Lesage to set his pencils aside and to work with oil paint instead. The miner followed their orders. His first canvas -very large, at 3m² _ revealed a new style,[…]

Fernand Desmoulin - © christian berst — art brut

Fernand Desmoulin

At the dawn of the 20th century, this academic painter experienced a liberating breathing space during a two-year break. From this period originated an exceptional spirits work, acclaimed by André Breton as soon as 1933. Drawings born of a trance and executed in pencil, his ectoplasmic work hints at arachnid frames, feverish faces, and oscillations dictated by his tutelary mind. Collected for more than a century, Fernand Desmoulins is now part of the collections of the Museum of LaM (France), Antoine de Galbert (France), and was shown in the last exhibition of the maison rouge (Paris): L’envol ou Le rêve de voler.

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