beyond the boundaries season 2011
discoveries and recent acquisitions
The Galerie Christian Berst marks the start of the new art season each September by turning a spotlight on the contemporary, universal nature of Art Brut, presenting creative spirits from other places, both literally and metaphorically. Their works demonstrate that such art cannot be limited to a given time or culture, that it is truly universal, and that Art Brut is by no means a question of merely formal characteristics.
This season, the gallery is proud to present works by Aníbal Brizuela (Argentina), Rosa Cazhur (Uruguay) Carlo Stella (Peru), Albert Mouhadeb (Israel), Peter Kapeller (Austria), Melvin Way (United States), Eric Benetto (France), and Loïc Lucas (France), not forgetting the collection of rare, unusual, and historical pieces in our cabinet of curiosities.
This year, the gallery is also delighted to offer visitors the chance to explore the world of Art Brut in even greater depth through Travelling Brut, the first ever festival of films about Art Brut. The new season of events, reflecting increasing interest in marginal forms of art world-wide, aims to bring Art Brut out of the artistic ghetto to which ignorance and indifference long condemned it.
In an eloquently symbolic gesture, the specialist art press recently highlighted the Galerie Christian Berst as one of the leading places to see contemporary art in Paris.
Deeply impacted by his discovery of Augustin Lesage, Éric Benetto explores the most arduous spiritual paths: monastic life and ascetic practices of the Orthodox hesychasm. His Chinese ink or pencil drawings, on paper, radiographs and other MRI scans are imbued with syncretic mysticism as well as an exceptional modernity. Before his first solo exhibition organized by the gallery in 2019, his work had already been noticed at the exhibition Brut Now: art brut in the time of technologies, at the Belfort museums. Since then, he has joined prestigious collections such as those of Laurent Dumas (France) or Treger-Saint Silvestre (Portugal).
Rosa Cazhur was born in 1947 in Durazno, a town in central Uruguay. She began drawing as a child, encouraged by her father, and later her fiancé. She was then deeply hurt when her first husband, an artist, repeatedly told her that she had lost her creative spirit. Her next two marriages were also unhappy. During her first stay at the Dr. Bernardo Etchepare psychiatric hospital near Montevideo in 2004, she simply repeated the patterns she learned when working decorating ceramics in Brazil. When the woman in charge of the workshop suggested that she might like to try a freer technique, she decided to work with her eyes closed, until one day she came to the workshop exclaiming “Rosa Cazhur was[…]
Spotted in Rosario’s psychiatric institution, his work was exhibited for the first time in 2005 at the ArteBA contemporary art fair in Buenos Aires. Although his approach was initially dazibao, subtly off-center geometric patterns and a sharp typography clearly illustrate a more private formal grammar. The compositions of the enigmatic man, fascinated by conspiracy, appear like an attempt to alert humanity. Present in important collections, his works have been shown notably in the art brut exhibitions: a story of individual mythologies (Oliva Creative Factory, Portugal) and in the Museum of Everything by James Brett in MoNa (Australia).
Discovered in the early 1980s at a homeless center in New York City, Melvin Way is now a key figure in contemporary art brut. Having interrupted his scientific studies because of his schizophrenia, he relentlessly covers fragments of papers of mathematical and chemical formulas, sibylline sketches… These dense talismanic notes, which he treasures in his pockets, exhale a rare magnetism. The 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Critics, Jerry Saltz, considers him “a mystic visionary genius, one of the greatest living American artists.” The artist’s works are now in the collections of the MoMA (New York) and the Smithsonian (Washington).
A nurse by trade, it was during meetings at the Marseille Communist Party that she began drawing in the 1960s. Found drowned in the Seine in 1980, she left behind an exceptional body of work. Often compared to Henri Michaux, her ideographic drawings in Indian ink are full of mystery. In 1967 she was part of the historical exhibition L’Art Brut at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Now present in numerous collections, including the Collection de l’Art Brut (Lausanne), the LaM (Villeneuve d’Ascq) but also in the abcd/Bruno Decharme collection (France), a dossier is devoted to her in the Fascicule de l’Art Brut n°11.
Forewords : Christian Berst
Catalog published to mark the exhibition Beyond the boundaries : discoveries and recent acquisitions 2011, from september 10th to 28th, 2011.