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When I was a child, I would spend hours copying letters and words from magazines and books—a self-motivated attempt to read before ever stepping foot into the classroom. The realization that these lines meant something was earth-shattering, and I thought that copying their forms would eventually reveal
the coded secrets that only grown-ups and older kids understood,

Language, one of the most basic methods of human communication, is, of course, imprecise but does afford us a common and conventional way to engage with one another. This luxury is not equally afforded to everyone, but seems to engage us all; the desire to communicate is trumped perhaps only by the desire to survive. Do the Write Thing: Read Between the Lines is an invitation to decipher the hidden meaning from works whose authors use language in various visual forms to express any number of thoughts, emotions, secrets, frustrations, or even otherworldly knowledge.

The artists in this exhibition employ the written word toward a variety of ends and use a wide range of techniques. Indeed, they are united only in their portrayal of the symbols and lines of language. Some works, like those by Yuchi Saito and Beverly Baker, are created through the obsessive layering of text, a process that renders the majority of letters and words indecipherable. Others, like Howard Finster or Royal Robertson, use language as it was intended, but express messages and visions composed in trance-like states or under the direction of a higher power. Patricia Salen and Jill Gallieni produce automatic writings, acting as mediums between worlds. Harald Stoffers’ letters to his mother weave language into the framed structure of musical staffs that undulate like waves across the page.

All of these works invite us to contemplate the reality that every communication, filtered through the prism of language, is inevitably perverted from its original essence. The struggle to effectively communicate transcends geographic and temporal boundaries, affecting every human being across the globe and across time, perpetually uniting and dividing us in the process.

Zebedee Armstrong - © christian berst — art brut
Zebedee Armstrong
portrait de Beverly Baker - © christian berst — art brut
Beverly Baker
portrait of giovanni bosco - © christian berst — art brut
Giovanni Bosco
portrait - © christian berst — art brut
Anibal Brizuela
portrait of pepe gaitàn - © christian berst — art brut
Pepe Gaitán
portrait of jill gallieni - © christian berst — art brut
Jill Gallieni
josef hofer drawing - © © florian moser, christian berst — art brut
Josef Hofer
portrait - © © Mario del Curto, christian berst — art brut
Zdenek Košek
portrait of oscar morales - © christian berst — art brut
Oscar Morales
Royal Robertson - © christian berst — art brut
Royal Robertson
patricia salen - © christian berst — art brut
Patricia Salen
Milton Schwartz - © christian berst — art brut
Milton Schwartz
harald stoffers - © christian berst — art brut
Harald Stoffers
carlo zinelli - © christian berst — art brut
Carlo Zinelli
Do the Write Thing Read Between the Lines
Do the Write Thing : Read Between the Lines - © christian berst — art brut

Prefaces : Phillip M. Jones & Lilly Lampe
Foreword : Christian Berst
Catalog published to mark the exhibition Do the Write Thing : Read Between the Lines at christian berst art brut, New York, du october 30th to december 21st, 2014.

Press review
Do the Write Thing: Read Between the Lines
Michael Brown, December 20, 2014.
Phillip March Jones, Dear Mother
Phillip March Jones, Alabama Chahin. December 15, 2014.
Text Messages from the Margins
Rob Colvin, Hyperallergic. December 8, 2014.
Harald Stoffers at Do the Write Thing Christian Berst Art Brut Gallery
Editorial, Boogie Tonight. November 7, 2014.
Christian Berst exporte son art brut à New York
Laura La Fata, Connaissances Des October 9, 2014.
View more
L’art brut à la conquête de l’Amérique
Aurélie Romanacce, Arts Magazine. September 25, 2014.
Christian Berst, figure
La Rédaction, L’Oeil. September 23, 2014.
do the write thing

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