First published: Fall 2001
At a time when it is fashionable to be a self-taught artist, there are apparently fewer and fewer cases of genuine ‘art brut’, which makes Marcel Storr’s large pencil and coloured ink drawings of churches and cities of the future all the more valuable. A collection of fifty or so of his works were discovered in 1971 by a Parisian couple called Mr and Mrs Kempf, after Storr’s wife introduced them to his secret world. His drawings teem with buildings whose spires, towers, domes, pinnacles, minarets reach up into the sky, but it is a world strikingly devoid of thought or feeling, whose population is reduced to ants swarming under fleecy, ominous, weird skies.
Born in Paris on July 3rd, 1911, Storr was an abandoned child, who was subsequently apprenticed in farms, entrusted to nuns at an Alsatian convent, sent down the mines, and who worked at Les Halles market, loading and unloading lorries. In 1964, he found a job sweeping leaves in the Bois de Boulogne and married. He had been drawing for some time when his wife, a caretaker at a Primary school in rue Milton, in the 9th arrondissement, took advantage of his being away one evening to invite the art-lovers, Mr and Mrs Kempf into her kitchen after a parents’ meeting. From under the oilcloth on the table, she pulled out her husband’s secret drawings, made mostly in a large spiral copy book.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #36