corps à corps
Josef Hofer, born in 1945 in Bavaria, does not speak, but has always drawn.
The old boy, who grew up a recluse on a farm in Upper Austria, still lives like a Robillard surrounded by toys and cuddly toys today. Pepi - that’s how he signs - looks at himself, Pepi tells himself. In the mirror that he holds out to himself and to us, we watch in amazement at the childhood of art. This lost paradise that every true creator yearns for, he has never left it. As Michel Thévoz points out, “Josef Hofer is in a state of grace”. An eroticized, untamed grace, where the body tries to take off in the straitjacket of the frame.
Since the retrospective exhibition of the Collection de l’Art Brut in 2003, numerous exhibitions and publications have been devoted to him. His drawings are also part of the world’s largest collections of art brut, both public and private. It was therefore time to share with you, for the first time in France, these moments of grace in the form of body to body.
Josef Hofer, who has been a resident of an Austrian institution for more than 30 years, does not speak, he draws instead. Tirelessly. In the mirror that he uses and hands us, individuals try to take their rise in the straitjacket of the frame with an eroticized grace, untamed. His productions - to which Michel Thévoz has devoted several essays - depict a founding duality between the body and the psyche. Present in many museum collections, he is also part of great private collections: Antoine de Galbert (France), Amr Shaker (Switzerland) or even of the collection of Arnulf Rainer (Austria), who considers him “the greatest of the brut artists.”