Alain Lacoste


French outsider artist Alain Lacoste, born in Laval in 1935, died on April 26, 2022, in the town of Craon (Mayenne).



In 1954, after his schooling, Lacoste began higher education in history and geography, and he got married. In 1963, back from military service, he was appointed as professor at Béthune (northern France). He hated this profession and dreamed of being a museum curator instead.

In 1970, his divorce and family worries led to psychological problems that forced him to spend a year in a psychiatric hospital. A little later, he met Danièle who would become his second wife and was very supportive of his creative work. In 1979, Lacoste returned to live and work in Laval. In 1996, he retired and settled near Craon.



Lacoste was the creator of an impressive body of work in terms of quantity and diversity of techniques, and is considered to be one of the fathers of French outsider art. From the 1970s he was influenced by Belgian surrealist painter Paul Delvaux. He later turned towards the reuse of materials, in particular wood or stone. His works, endowed with real power, give life to strange scenes where characters and animals intermingle.



Very free in his compositions, Alain Lacoste was graphically skilled and displayed a mastery of colour in his relief works. He played with matter, but he also liked to manipulate words, often with humour. He carefully considered the title of his works which often puzzled the viewer.

Lacoste's work is present in famous museums and collections such as Musée d'Art brut de Lausanne (New Invention Collection), Musée de la Fabuloserie de Dicy, Musée de la Création Franche de Bègles, le MANAS de Laval and Musée d'Art Brut et Singulier of Montpellier.



Text: Jean-Michel Chesné
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